The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen’s decision to clear out 80,000 “high-risk” people ahead of next month’s Universiade is a vital security step to ensure the country is not embarrassed in front of the world, a newspaper said on Friday.
Shenzhen is taking no chances with the largest sporting event it had ever hosted, the Beijing News cited its Communist Party boss Wang Rong as saying.
The 80,000 “high-risk” people cleared out of the city were just a start and more could follow, the report added.
“I think this is necessary,” it quoted Wang as telling a work conference on the Games. “How can I say that the situation is not tense?
“The tenseness in Shenzhen is an orderly tenseness,” he said, adding that taking such extraordinary steps was the “responsible attitude to take”.
The report did not specify who they considered high risk, but state media has previously talked of those who have no proper full-time employment, former convicts and people who take part in “abnormal” activities as being targeted.
During the Beijing Olympics in 2008 the government took steps to tighten controls on residency in the city, targeting migrant workers without the correct papers, beggars and others it thought undesirable.
Only 2.5 million of Shenzhen’s residents are legally and permanently registered there, compared with 6.5 million migrant workers who are only counted as temporary residents and blamed for the city’s high crime rate, according to Xinhua news agency.
The economic boomtown of Shenzhen, which lies just across the border from Hong Kong, is one of the main manufacturing centres for the export-reliant province of Guangdong, which has been hit by a rash of strikes and labour unrest.
Wang said that not taking extraordinary security measures would be “an irresponsible attitude towards the city, its residents and friends from all over the world”, the newspaper reported.
He added that “if there is no strict management there will be a high possibility of a major terrorist or security incident. Any security incident could morph into an international incident.”