The Nanfang / Blog


Security checks at PRD airports about to get American-ized

Posted: 09/2/2011 5:14 pm

Anyone who travels to America – or especially within it – will know that it isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA for short) makes life miserable by fondling everything from breasts to colostomy bags to little kids as they pass through security. Some call this “security theatre“, other’s call it a pain in the a**.

Unfortunately, it looks like airports in China will be taking a page from the TSA and stepping up their own airport security. Life of Guangzhou has the details:

Passengers from some flights will be required to undergo a stricter body check, which can include removing shoes and leather belts. Passengers demanded to open belongings will increase by 50 percent.

The airport authority reminds passengers not to bring contraband goods such as lighters, matches or lithium batteries. To avoid huge crowds and flight delays, the authorities have increased the current 25 security gates to 52.

Beijing and Shanghai airports have also concurrently implemented the level II security check. Level II security check was once operated during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai Expo.

The question here is… why? The Asian Games happened nearly a year ago, and the Universiade is all wrapped up. The Beijing Olympics and Shanghai Expo are ancient memories. Seems an odd time to step up security, unless the authorities know something we don’t.

And perhaps they do. Without treading too far down a path which might get this website blocked, there has been some unrest in certain sensitive regions of China. I Want China Times sums it up:

The Civil Aviation Administration of China didn’t give any reason for the increased security and passengers hadn’t been notified in advance but there was speculation the move was related to the recent discovery of knives and other banned items at an airport in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions in the country’s northwest, Shanghai Daily said in a report.

No word on how long this treatment will last, but it’s nice to know that Chinese passengers don’t take any more kindly to it than their American counterparts:

The sudden imposition of stricter checks caused problems at Beijing Capital International Airport with long queues, arguments and even scuffles breaking out among passengers having to wait a much longer time to get through the security checks.

Many passengers complained on the microblog. Photos posted online showed the airport crowded with passengers in scenes that were described as like a “busy and noisy railway station during the annual spring rush.”

Passengers said it took them more than one hour to get through security and about half of them had their luggage opened and inspected.

Make sure you arrive at the airport extra early. And leave your dignity at home.

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