Wary Beijing orders police gun training

Updated: 2014-06-29 18:04


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BEIJING - Beijing's security chief has called for more firearms training for SWAT officers patrolling a city with its eyes wide open for terrorist attacks.

China's vice minister of public security and head of Beijing Public Security Bureau Fu Zhenghua on Saturday urged officers to make sure that they are ready to "deal a deadly blow to enemies at the critical time".

Fu asked them to be well prepared and maintain stability in the city, as he visited police stations and SWAT checkpoints along Beijing's main drag, Chang'an Avenue on Saturday, talking to officers.

In October 2013, Xinjiang separatists drove a vehicle into the crowd in Tian'anmen Square in Beijing, killing five and injuring 40. This coming November, the APEC Leaders Summit -- the most important event since the 2008 Olympics -- is scheduled to take place in a new complex in a rural part of Beijing.

Chinese police generally do not carry firearms. Gun crime is very rare in a nation where gun controls are extremely strict, but facing escalating security threats, armed police have been patrolling Beijing's major subway stations and crowded areas since May.

In March, China's security watchdog launched a program to train more officers in the use of firearms.