Vladimir Putin

Shanghai to shut down for summit

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2006, 12:00am

Traffic controls for this week's Shanghai Co-operation Organisation meeting will virtually shut down vast areas of the city due to tight security measures.

President Hu Jintao, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of four Central Asian countries will attend the annual summit.

The city's financial district, where the meeting will be held, will be closed to traffic for half a day on Wednesday and most of Thursday, the day of the meeting, local media said.

The historic waterfront Bund district will be closed to traffic on Wednesday night as leaders watch a fireworks display. The district government has also ordered some of the district's most famous restaurants to shut for the night.

A welcoming dinner on Thursday at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum will halt traffic in the Century Square area. Streets around People's Square will be closed to traffic the same evening for a cultural performance.

Some metro exits and even entire stations will also be closed at certain periods.

Shanghai has granted a three-day holiday from Wednesday to Friday for schools and government institutions, but has largely left it up to companies to decide whether to grant employees time off, given the disruption to transport.

Some office workers expressed astonishment that the mainland's commercial capital could virtually be shut down for three days, while others welcomed the unexpected holiday.

'It's quite a headache. It will really mess up my daily life,' said an office worker at a company in the Pudong district near the meeting venue. 'We were actually thinking about sleeping in the office.'