CPC congress sees Beijing beef-up security

Authorities in Beijing are tightening security ahead of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on November 8.

The beefing-up of security has seen officials make some rather odd requests, including taxis having to remove handles for car windows and restrictions on the sale of pigeons and toy aircraft.

"The handles to open the windows have been confiscated until after the Congress," a Beijing taxi driver told the Telegraph.

"They are scared people will distribute tracts or put themselves on fire as in the past. We are asked even to report people carrying big Coca Cola bottles."

The Communist Party has been particularly worried this year as protests and riots over issues from inequality to Tibet have rocked the country.

It is also the first Congress since the spike in social media has empowered hundreds of millions of Chinese, the Wall Street Journal pointed out.

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The Congress has also been marred by the recent scandal over the death of British businessman Neil Heywood, which brought an end to the career of superstar politician Bo Xilai and had his wife sentenced to prison.

The Wall Street Journal said that China's internet censorship swung into full force this week closing down VPNs and monitoring networks for anti-Communist Party sentiment.

The new measures have affected nearly every aspect of life in Beijing.

Fire, police and sanitation workers were put on high-alert in case of emergency, with even the most minute details, such as food safety and possible fire hazards in hotels, cinemas and restaurants, all under heavy scrutiny, said Xinhua.

"Services for every post and every section should be assured so as to ensure a successful congress," Guo Jinlong, secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, told the state-run news service.