Beijing media expected to do part for security

Emergency Response Law reiterated before Olympics

SHANGHAI -- Beginning July 1, five weeks ahead of the Olympics, Beijing media will be required to provide "free publicity" for government emergency response efforts in a bid to reinforce security during the event.

As China's capital braces for the arrival of hundreds of thousands of guests, the measures are part of China's Emergency Response Law, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported late Sunday.

Although the law went into effect in November, China's media has been tested greatly this year by a rare snow storm in the south of the country in February, riots in Tibet in March and a devastating earthquake in Sichuan in May.

Beijing newspapers on Sunday reminded residents that the law requires all government agencies and businesses in the capital and nearby towns to create emergency response teams, appoint a media spokesperson and create a system for issuing timely and informative press releases.

The measures also apply to public venues, including public transport stations, stadiums, theaters, hotels and tourism destinations. Businesses that fail to comply with the law face fines of up to 200,000 yuan ($29,000) or risk losing their license.

The Emergency Response Law defines emergencies as incidents harmful to public security, such as natural disasters, public heath emergencies and security incidents.

Xinhua also reported that an anti-terrorist force of nearly 100,000 commandos, police and army troops have been placed on high alert in and around the capital.