GUANGZHOU - Subway, ferry, train and long-distance bus passengers in this sprawling southern city will have to pass through a security check before they get on board - all for the sake of a safer Asian Games.
Starting this Monday, anyone who refuses to undergo a security check or who violates security regulations will be refused entry or could get a fine of up to 500 yuan ($74), according to the urban public security bureau.
Any transportation company that refuses to establish security checkpoints or refuses to check passengers could pay a fine of 5,000 to 10,000 yuan.
On Monday, some of the city's subway stations and ferry terminals equipped with the proper security facilities had already begun conducting passenger checks. Others, however, failed to comply.
The public security bureau explained that some stations had not installed the facilities and they were being urged to get the job done quickly. Checks at all Guangzhou subway stops and ferry terminals will be mandatory before the end of the month.
Meanwhile, post offices in Guangzhou are requiring residents to give their names and show an identity card if they want to mail anything to a hotel connected to the Asian Games.
Liang Weifa, head of the Guangdong provincial public security bureau, said they would use the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Expo 2010 Shanghai as examples of ways to deal with the situation. They will also increase cooperation with nearby provinces to maintain security at the Asian Games.
One Guangzhou office worker, Cheng Hongyi, said the strict security checks were needed, but added: "I hope the normal lives of local people won't be affected."
The 16th Asian Games will run from Nov 12 to 27 in Guangdong, while the Asian Para Games will open a month later.