Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A ring of steel has fallen around Beijing as the authorities pledge to take no chances with Olympic security, whatever the cost to business, workers and day-to-day lives.
Armed police have now been added to the three concentric rings of checkpoints set up on every access road into the city this week to screen vehicles for “suspicious” and dangerous items â€“ and people.
On some of the busiest roads, tailbacks more than a mile long have formed, prompting even government figures to beg officers to be “civilised and convenient” in their approach.
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Lorries with non-Beijing licence plates have been banned from the city, stopping vital supplies at the municipal borders near the sixth ring road.
“My business will be paralysed completely,” said Cong Peichao, sales manager for a firm delivering basic factory supplies around the city from manufacturers to the south-east. “But I have to put up with it â€“ after all, the Olympics is a once-in-a-hundred-years occasion.”
Mr Cong was on a side-road near a checkpoint overseeing the transfer of a large load of plastic pallets from an out-of-town lorry to a convoy of smaller trucks hired from Beijing.
This article was posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 12:10 pm