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10th NPC & CPPCC, 2007> Latest Update
UPDATED: March 3, 2007 from china.org.cn
Beijing in Full Preparation for Smooth 'Two Sessions'
With red armbands, these volunteers will be deployed mainly on residential communities to "prevent major criminal cases and accidents that may leave serious social impacts", the Beijing News quoted the official as saying

Beijing has seen all-around measures safeguarding security, traffic and food safety in place now to embrace the upcoming "two sessions" -- the annual meetings of China's top legislature and political advisory body.

More than 500,000 volunteers will help the police go on security checks across the city to maintain order of the national capital during the annual sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), scheduled for March 5 and March 3, according to the municipal police department.

Even 12,000 migrant workers, with residential community security guards, parking guiders and gatekeepers, have been absorbed into the enormous security network, said an official with the municipal police department.

With red armbands, these volunteers will be deployed mainly on residential communities to "prevent major criminal cases and accidents that may leave serious social impacts", the Beijing News quoted the official as saying.

They will go to streets in shifts and form an around-the-clock supervision network over security in streets and communities during the fortnight-long two-session period, the official said.

The city's traffic management bureau will for the first time inform the public of traffic routes to be cleared for the transport of two-session participants, who will be shuttled between hotels and the Great Hall of the People, the venue of the sessions, by more than 800 special buses.

The information will help ensure smooth traffic for the meetings and reduce disturbance to local residents, said an official with the bureau, which will release traffic control information on radio, Internet and outdoor screens.

Statistics show that Beijing now has more than 2.9 million automobiles with about 4.3 million qualified drivers. The auto number is expected to surpass 3 million by the end of May this year.

Previously, the Ministry of Public Security also ordered a clampdown on drunken driving from Feb. 20 to March 5 to create a better traffic environment for the two sessions.

The police were required to put surrounding areas of restaurants, bars and entertainment clubs under stakeout and handle drunken driving cases strictly in line with the traffic law.

According to the law, offenders shall face a fine of up to 2,000 yuan (US$263) and 15 days in detention.

In addition to civilized ground conditions, measures have also been issued to clear up the sky. Balloons and airboats carrying advertisement banners or tourists are banned in the sky till the end of the two sessions, reported the Beijing Times.

The municipal food security committee has also ordered intensified checks on the catering industry, butcheries, meat processing factories and food markets in the city during the period of two sessions.

More food control efforts will be focused on areas around hotels housing NPC deputies and CPPCC members, prosperous business districts, supermarkets, airports, railway stations and scenic spots, and stringent checks are required to block infected livestocks or inferior food out of Beijing.

Apart from food security, special diet customs of ethnic participants of the two sessions will also be fully respected here.

Xie Shenglin, an 80-year-old CPPCC member of the Hui ethnic group, said he felt the hotel was quite "home-like" as it served a variety of Muslim food.

He told Xinhua that in rooms of all Muslim believers, the wall facing the west is marked to facilitate their daily worships.

"The hotel has made very considerate arrangements for us in terms of accommodation and food, and we feel we are still in our hometowns," said Xie, who comes from northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

Construction projects nearby places where NPC deputies and CPPCC members stay and along their meeting routes have been ordered to suspend to ensure a quiet and clean environment, according to the Beijing News.

About 2,000 domestic and foreign reporters have registered to cover the most important annual political events in China.

A news center has been set up to provide reporters with meeting documents, agenda and information about news conferences, group interview arrangements and open panel discussions.

(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2007)

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