- Title: CHINA: Security stepped up as country prepares for its annual parliament
- Date: 6th March 2010
- Summary: FLAG RAISING CEREMONY STARTING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING FLAG RAISING CEREMONY CHINESE FLAG BEING RAISED UP POLE PEOPLE WATCHING FLAG FLYING AT TOP OF POLE
- Embargoed: 21st March 2010 12:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAA8TBEI2O0P84E8PJKPVDOYX81
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: China steps up security levels as it prepares for its national parliament which Beijing residents hope will focus on social policies.
Security tightened in Beijing on Friday (March 5) as the capital prepared for the opening of its annual session of parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC).
Soldiers lined Tiananmen Square at dawn, restricting access to the usually packed dawn flag raising ceremony, only soldiers were permitted to enter the square on Friday morning.
Further measures include maintaining total air control within a 200-kilometer radius from Tiananmen Square in the center of the capital city, where the 3,000-odd delegates gather for discussions at the Great Hall of the People, Chinese media reported.
Police have also increased checks on vehicles, flights and trains entering the city.
Many on Beijing's streets said they were hoping to see a focus on social policy in the largely ceremonial parliament.
Beijing resident Pan Taide said he was hoping to hear of more policy discussion on China's growing wealth gap and rising property prices.
"I hope that the country will continue to prosper, improve people's lives. I think that the rich-poor gap is too big, land is too expensive, common people cannot buy it. I have retired from the military barracks and I earn just over 2000 renminbi every month," he said.
Thirty-one-year-old Zao Jun was also hoping for a change in the housing situation.
"I expect to see more social policies and that they will focus on implementing them and I also hope that they will work towards everyone having their own house," he said.
China's parliament will open with a report from Premier Wen Jiabao at 0100GMT.
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