Hangzhou goes all out for G20 security

By Liu Xin in Hangzhou Source:Global Times Published: 2016-8-2 0:18:39 Last Updated: 2016-8-2 7:07:00

With only one month to the G20 summit, host city Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province is finalizing security measures in all possible areas, including mobilizing citizen volunteers as patrollers, increasing security checks on inbound travelers and parcels, and even establishing a special food storehouse for summit guests and personnel.

Police from nearby cities and police academy cadets have recently been called in as additional security for deployment in the streets.

A Global Times reporter on Monday found one to two security guards or police officers every five to 10 meters at popular attractions around the West Lake, and all manhole covers were checked and labeled as "exclusively for the G20 security check."

Two volunteers working around the West Lake told the Global Times that Hangzhou has intensified security in public places, especially scenic spots, from Monday, and some gatherings, including square dancing usually composed of older women in the neighborhoods, have been canceled.

Thousands of local residents have volunteered to patrol residential compounds, according to Zhao Yide, secretary of the Communist Party of China's Hangzhou Municipal Committee.

He added that the volunteers were also asked to carry on the work after the summit to push forward community governance.

"Without security, everything is meaningless. Hangzhou believes that security matters more than anything, and the city is going all out to guarantee security during the G20 summit, " Zhao said Monday at a conference marking the one-month countdown to the summit.

This year's G20 summit will be held from September 4 to 5, and Chinese President Xi Jinping and dozens of leaders from the world's major economies will be attending.

Zhao said that under the guidance of the Ministry of Public Security, Hangzhou has updated security measures on every aspect, including food, accommodations, and transportation.

In response to some reports that say preparations are excessive and have disturbed local residents' livelihoods, Zhao said that the city's intensified security work is consistent with international practices, and has earned the residents' understanding and support.

Hangzhou has conducted several overnight drills - from 11 pm to 4 am -to reduce disturbing local residents as well as to facilitate the procedures during the summit, said Zhao.

Safer city

Some Net users said they are dissatisfied with random identity card checks by the police in streets, or subway staff asking them to drink their bottled water at security check areas.

But other people said they support the security measures.

"I feel safer now and not annoyed by these measures. Every citizen has a responsibility to help maintain security, which is for our own good," a resident surnamed Liu told the Global Times.

Hangzhou will also manage traffic during the summit, and some taxi companies are required to suspend their business during the summit, with a daily subsidy of 500 to 800 yuan ($120) for each driver, at least two taxi drivers confirmed with the Global Times.

Zhao said reports about local residents being unable to receive their parcels are inaccurate.

"Packages are only required to be opened as part of security checks," Zhao noted. 

As for security at hotels that will accommodate foreign leaders, Zhao said at the conference that the city has updated security there and some other key places, including conference venues.

Most hotels in Hangzhou have tightened checks on tourists, a hotel staff member surnamed Zhang in Hangzhou, told the Global Times, adding that many are using face recognition and fingerprint identification equipment.

Most Hangzhou residents will be given a holiday from September 1 to 7 in a bid to guarantee the accommodation of foreign leaders, media and overseas delegations.

The city's tourist commission has offered discount packages to Hangzhou residents traveling to other destinations in China, travel.sohu.com reported. 

Passengers who travel by train from other provinces or regions to Hangzhou will undergo multiple security checks both at their exit and entry points around the time of the summit, authorities said.

Hangzhou has reserved a 7,450-square meter storehouse for 900 tons of food for the G20 summit, Zhao said on Monday.

"All the food will be purchased, stored and delivered under the supervision of a specific department in a bid to guarantee safety," Zhao noted.

Ren Zhengxiao, head of the State Grains Administration, inspected storehouses of a rice supply organization in Hangzhou on July 26, saying that keeping food security is the top priority of preparations for the G20 summit, chinanews.com reported.

"Not a grain of unsafe rice or a drop of oil will make its way to the storehouses for the summit," Ren was quoted by chinanews.com as saying.


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