China Steps Up Olympic Security

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BEIJING, China - Most people will never notice them, but they are there - 300,000 spy cameras with face-recognition technology tucked away from plain sight during the Olympic Games.

About 180,000 police and army officers are on guard in the Chinese capital, and a much less visible security force is the 500,000 volunteers who are also keeping a close watch on any suspicious activity.

"We've been given a number of security instructions, but I cannot give you those details," one volunteer said. "Bottom line is that we all want the Games to be a success and so we'll do whatever it takes to ensure that outcome."

The Chinese Army is on its highest state of military alert in 30 years. They've deployed anti-aircraft missiles near the Games venues and have dozens of jets, helicopters and ships on standby. The army is also flying unmanned drones to increase surveillance.

"We want to preserve the festive and joyful atmosphere of the Olympic venues. At the same time, we want to reduce the impact security has on daily life," said Liu Shaowu, head of the Olympic Safety Department.

Here on the streets of Beijing, police have access to another line of defense.

Chinese authorities could potentially enlist the services of the city's 70,000 taxi drivers because inside each Beijing city taxi are microphones, very small discreet microphones, that with a press of a remote button call the command center. Within a few minutes they can listen in to the conversation taking place in that taxi."

"The moment I press the button, the police can locate my taxi using GPS and that way I can alert them to any trouble," a Beijing taxi driver told CBN News. "I'm just glad that I can play my part in ensuring that these are safe Games for everyone."

Security checks around tourist spots have been stepped up following the weekend stabbing of two Americans.

"I've never seen it like this before, it's really tight," a visitor from the U.S. Said.

In some of the more sensitive areas of town, armed police and soldiers are positioned on every block.

China has spent more than $50 million to make the Beijing Olympics the most secure in the 112-year history of the modern Games.

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CBN News
George Thomas

George Thomas

CBN News Senior Reporter

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