Extra vigilance urged as holiday security net extends to cyberspace
Vivien Pik-Kwan Chan
Heightened security for the week-long National Day holiday will be accompanied by added vigilance against computer hackers.
Amid tightened censorship of the Internet, the country's information security specialists yesterday warned ministry departments and Internet surfers to implement stronger security measures against the high risk of computer virus and hacking attacks during the break.
In addition to general security measures, Public Security Minister Jia Chunwang has ordered department officials to cancel their holidays and be on standby to ensure there is no threat to the capital.
Authorities have stepped up security across the Xinjiang region to prevent terrorist attacks by Muslim separatists. Troops and paramilitary police have been deployed to conduct regular raids of suspicious targets to prevent any unrest during the holiday.
The Strike Hard anti-crime campaign has gone into overdrive ahead of National Day today, with hundreds of people being arrested last week and dozens of criminals being executed.
The raids are part of a 70-day campaign by Beijing targeting activists from outlawed cults, 'suspicious' ethnic minorities, gangsters, prostitutes, beggars and migrant workers in major cities.
Authorities have encouraged people to travel and shop during the 'golden week' holiday - ending next Monday - introduced in 2000 to boost the economy.
Leaders hope that increasing domestic demand will help keep economic growth above seven per cent this year.
But the holiday will not be a happy one for laid-off workers and disgruntled rural residents. The widening gap between the rich and poor stands in stark contrast to the banners erected in Tiananmen Square calling for national unity. Banners are already announcing the 'success' of the 16th Communist Party Congress, which starts on November 8.
The traffic system will be tested this week as more than 60 million people are expected to take to the roads, railways and the skies. Measures have been announced to improve road safety.
The National Tourism Administration estimated that 2.2 million people will travel to and from Beijing, 10 per cent more than last year.
Beijing police also stepped up inspections of main tourist spots to prevent accidents.
State media said about 3,000 additional officers would be posted at the capital's most popular sites during the holidays.
In Sichuan province, 10 travel agencies and 13 tour guides were fined or disciplined for breaching standards in tours to the Jiuzhaigou National Park.