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 Beijing police receive anti-terrorism training for Olympics

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                                           Beijing police receive anti-terrorism training for Olympics
                                            China Daily, China

More than 40,000 police officers in China's capital are being trained to handle potential terrorist attacks ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Chinese government said Friday.

The officers began the two-year program on Thursday with a hostage rescue demonstration, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Training this year will focus on improving physical strength while next year's program will include simulated conditions, according to Zhao Yuan, director of training at the Beijing Police College, where the sessions are being held.

Trainees will also be required to...


learn foreign languages including English, French, German and Arabic "to better deal with security tasks during the event," Yuan was cited as saying by Xinhua.

"To prevent and handle unexpected incidents that may happen during the Olympic Games, we need a strong anti-terror force," Qiang Wei, Beijing's deputy party secretary, was quoted as saying.

Unlike last summer's Games in Athens or the post-September 11 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, security in Beijing is not as prominent a concern for the international community.

Though no longer a totalitarian state, communist-run China remains an authoritarian one, with an extensive security apparatus that can be quickly mobilized.

Chinese security experts have said that they are looking into the potential for domestic critics of the regime to disrupt the Olympics.

Their plans have focused on members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and ethnic Muslims agitating for an independent homeland in the western region of Xinjiang, China's Central Asian buffer.

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