| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

China intensifies security ahead of 20th CCP congress, arrests over 1.4 million ‘criminals’

On the eve of the 20th Chinese Communist Party’s congress (CCP), the security officials have intensified crackdown on unscrupulous elements and turned Beijing into a virtual fortress.
This year’s meeting, which is scheduled to take place on October 16, is significant for China, as President Xi Jinping is all set to be elected for an unprecedented third five-year term—a feat only achieved by modern China’s founder Mao Zedong
As part of the Ministry of Public Security’s “100-day operation”, which began in June, more than 1.4 million alleged criminals have been arrested, surveillance of ethnic minorities has been intensified and travellers to Beijing are being thoroughly checked, reports Financial Times newspaper.
Additional forces have been deployed to some of the areas, which Beijing considers to be higher risk because of a large presence of ethnic minorities.
In the capital Beijing, security is tight around sensitive areas, like the Great Hall of the People, on the western edge of Tiananmen Square, where the congress will be held, and the Jingxi Hotel, where thousands of delegates will stay.
Moreover, people travelling on subway trains in Beijing have been asked to drink any liquids they carry in bottles only in front of a security guard.
“You know the congress is coming so the checks will be stricter,” a guard said at a Beijing metro station this week, reports the newspaper. “Please be co-operative.”
Reuters news agency has reported that China has hired more security personnel in the wake of the important political meeting, of which 42 guards have been assigned to keep 24-hour watch on “key people”—a term used by authorities for troublemakers—from October 6 to October 23.

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