China held here Tuesday afternoon a state-level anti-terrorist exercise for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The exercise, dubbed "Great Wall No. 4", held in Beijing, focused on security work for the Beijing Olympic Games and tested Chinese police's capacity to handle a hostage-taking incident during the Olympics.
As soon as the combat exercise started, the blue side, acting as terrorists, hijacked more than 20 athletes and confined them in a building.
The red side, the special police, then sealed off the building, reconnoitered the area, and attacked the hijackers.
In the end, after making an emergency on-the-spot response to the hijacking without prior rehearsal, the red side succeeded in rescuing the hostages, sources with the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said.
Neither side knew the tactics of the other side and had to make on-the-spot decisions, according to the MPS.
Though a command group was set up to control the exercise, it did not interfere in the actions taken by each side, said the MPS.
The exercise tested the capacity of Chinese police to handle a large-scale hostage taking and helped improve the country's anti-terrorist ability, MPS sources said.
China will do its utmost to guarantee the security of the 2008 Olympics, the sources said.
China's previous state-level anti-terror drills took place in September 2003, January 2006 and December 2006.
With a little over a year ahead of the 2008 Olympics, China has stepped up its security preparations. On May 28, MPS spokesman Wu Heping announced that China would introduce advanced weapons, technology and equipment for police to ensure security during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He said about 30 police helicopters will be in service by the end of 2007.
On June 6, the Chinese Ministry of Education said China will step up security guard training in occupational education in an effort to have more qualified personnel for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Luo Gan, the top law and order official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), viewed the exercise via an audio-visual system.
Luo urged various departments to intensify anti-terrorist efforts so as to ensure the successful holding of the 17th national congress of the CPC and the 2008 Olympics.
"Stepping up anti-terrorist efforts will guarantee the building of a harmonious society and promote world peace and stability," Luo said at the third national anti-terrorist conference on Tuesday after viewing the exercise.
Luo, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, demanded that departments cooperate with each other in anti-terrorist efforts and strengthen international cooperation in this area.
He said party committees and governments at all levels need to strengthen leadership in anti-terrorist efforts and study anti-terrorist strategy and theory.
He ordered them to provide enough human resources, equipment, funds, transportation facilities, medical services and telecommunications equipment to meet the demands of anti-terrorist response.