China to Begin Security Crackdown
Aileen McCabe reports in the Vancouver Sun:
China will begin a five-month security crackdown later this week in preparation for the nation’s 60th anniversary celebration on Oct.1.
According to public security vice-minister Zhang Xinfeng, the goal is to provide “a harmonious environment” for the nationwide celebrations.
The official Xinhua news agency said Zhang underlined that “the campaign will highlight the eradication and prevention of crimes to maintain social order.”
It is a move reminiscent of the ramped-up security ahead of last summer’s Beijing Olympic Games in which hundreds of “dissidents” were detained and such tight visa restrictions enforced that hotels in Beijing, which expected to reap windfall profits from increased tourism, found they had rooms going begging.
Although the Beijing government has been focusing on its 60th anniversary plans for many months, it is likely not coincidental that the escalated security measures are being put in place one month before the 10th anniversary of the deadly Tiananmen Square pro-democracy demonstrations, a date China is definitely not celebrating.