Regular police officers patrolling major subway stations in Beijing began carrying guns on Friday as local public security authorities have upped armed patrols in 14 of Beijing’s most crowded areas.
CRIEnglish reports that the armed patrols have appeared at busy subway stations of Line One, including Xidan, Tiananmen West, Tiananmen East, Wangfujing and Dongdan.
In April, over 1,000 cops in Shanghai began carrying revolvers on patrol in a campaign aimed at bolstering security in the city as a response to the Kunming railway station knife attack that left 29 people dead.
In the past, most Chinese police officers wouldn’t carry guns but instead armed themselves with clubs, pepper spray and handcuffs. An online poll conducted by iFeng in April showed that 41 percent of participants in China didn’t support the move after the Ministry of Public Security announced that “front-line” police in China would begin receiving intensive weapon training courses.
Earlier this month, a Shanghai officer shot a driver who had allegedly tried forcing his way through a roadblock in the first shots fired since the security campaign began.
CRIEnglish reports that, in Beijing, “Police have also deployed five helicopters in the air and 150 vehicles equipped with riot guns day and night to ensure security in the city.”
[Image Credit: The Beijing Times/Ouyang Xiaofei/CFP via CRIEnglish]