China steps up air security after terrorist plot
Chinese airports and airlines will step up security and ban passengers carrying liquids on domestic flights, the government said on Thursday, a week after it revealed an attempt to bring down a flight to Beijing.
Beijing is keen to reassure the world there is no problem with airline security in China ahead of the Summer Olympics in August.
Staff would open up and check more hand baggage than before, and "easy boarding" services, where passengers pay for the privilege of speedier security checks and priority boarding, would be banned, the General Administration of Civil Aviation said.
The Chinese government announced over the weekend that a passenger jet from the restive western region of Xinjiang made a forced landing after the discovery of what state media called a "planned terrorist attack".
The aviation regulator said earlier this week that the crew had discovered a passenger or passengers carrying a "suspicious liquid", but few other details have been released.
"Ensuring passengers travelling security is the most important service offered to travellers," the regulator said in a statement on its Web site (www.caac.gov.cn).
"Any service that conveniences passengers must centre on and be subordinated to aviation security, and so serious measures must be taken," it added. "We hope travellers understand and offer their support."
All airlines must guarantee that they do not carry checked in luggage if the passenger fails to board, and all vehicles entering controlled zones at airports must go through strict security checks, the statement said.
It added that they would soon issue a statement giving details of the ban on carrying of liquids.
China already has very tough controls on passengers bringing liquids aboard flights. (Reuters)
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