HK in tight security for WTO ministerial conference

Hong Kong police is on high alert for security of the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) scheduled to open next Tuesday.

One third of the Hong Kong Police forces, or 9,000 policemen, are being deployed in security operation for the MC6, the biggest single police operation in terms of manpower resources being deployed.

The Police claimed that they are fully prepared and would do their best to ensure the smooth progress of the conference, while facilitating all lawful and peaceful demonstrations and maintaining law and orders in Hong Kong.

Elite of the Special Duty Unit (SDU) have also been deployed at the exhibition center for anti-riot missions with MP5 scatter guns. Policemen in charge of explosives detection also have been searching every corners of the exhibition center, carrying Police dogs.

It is reported that at least four body guards will be provided for security of each head of deletion of the 149 delegations. Among the 6,000 delegates, about 300 are ministerial officials.

Fire Police are also deployed near the exhibition center to prevent the possible risks.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government has closed part of roads near the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Center, venue for MC6, and suspended ferry services from Wan Chai as of Saturday morning.

The Marine Police also tightened their patrol of sea waters along the Victoria Harbor by speed boats and near the airport.

Road signs and hotlines for special traffic arrangements have already been placed along the major roads leading for the centers and in public buses or taxies. Riot webs and baffles are also installed along the major roads and crossovers to protect road security.

In the five-star hotels near the exhibition center, in the Central or at Hong Ham, where MC6 delegate to accommodate, security forces have been reinforced. All passengers to check in the hotels are required to have their luggage checked. Motor vehicles to the parking areas of the hotels are also required for thorough checking with detecting facilities.

To prevention the possible riots caused by the in-coming anti- WTO demonstrators, more than 70 briefings have been conducted for the concerned District Councils, residents and business organizations in the affected districts and along the routes of processions planned by carious non-government organizations.

A pamphlet "Understanding the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference", which details the special security and traffic arrangements a and offers advice to individuals, schools, institutions and business, has been produced and will be widely distributed to the public, schools and the hotels.

Even at the Hong Kong Central Library, where the MC6 ID badges will be offered for delegates, non-government organizations representative and correspondents, bags will be checked.

The operation of several banks near the exhibition center will be suspected for a week as the areas have been closed.

In some other banks along Wan Chai and Central roads, more security guards have been deployed and pharmaceuticals for treating poisoning emission have been the prepared.

The MC6 will be held at Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Center from Dec. 13 to 18. About 6,000 delegates from the 149 WTO members, 2,000 representatives from the non-government organizations and 3,000 correspondents are expected to attend the 5-day conference.

Source: Xinhua

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