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May 8, 2014

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Shanghai airport security upgrade ahead of leaders’ summit

SECURITY checks at Shanghai’s two airports are being upgraded from today and all passengers and baggage will be tested for explosive materials from next week.

Airport authorities gave no reason for the security upgrade. However, the city is hosting an important Asian summit on May 20 and 21 which will be chaired by President Xi Jinping.

Delegations from nearly 40 countries and international organizations will be arriving in the city for the Shanghai Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

More passengers at the Hongqiao and Pudong international airports will be asked to take off shoes and belts and more people will be asked to open carry-on bags during random checks from today, a security official with the Shanghai Airport Authority said.

Passengers will also be asked to take battery chargers and other electronic devices from bags during security checks.

“Passengers are advised to come to airports earlier, at least two hours before takeoff, to receive the checks that will take a longer time,” the official said.

From May 15, all passengers will undergo anti-explosives inspections and body searches, the airport authority said.

More security check channels will be opened and there will be more staff on duty to speed up the flow of passengers, it said.

Airports on China’s mainland normally have three levels of security checks. The lowest, Level 3, is used most of the time, while the highest, Level 1, requires passengers and their belongings to be checked twice — by X-ray and manually.

The upgraded security checks are of Level 2, the same as those in place during World Expo 2010 and the Beijing Olympics.

The Asia conference was launched in 1992 and has 24 member states accounting for nearly 90 percent of Asia’s territory and population.

To ensure a safe summit, Liu Yanping, vice minister of public security, inspected security work at the Shanghai Railway Station and Hongqiao Transport Hub, which includes Hongqiao Airport, on Tuesday night. Liu also checked security at railway station in neighboring Suzhou.


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