By Dan Shea
Beijing Exhibition Center • Beijing, People’s Republic of China • 23-26 June 2004
The People’s Republic of China has been chosen to host the 2008 Olympics. More specifically, the city of Beijing has that honor. In the interest of modernizing the police and crowd control capabilities, the first China Police Expo was held in June of 2002. The plan was to have an expo every two years until 2008, thereby introducing new, modern technologies to the departments in charge of security and crowd control during the Olympics. The long lead-time would allow them to get educated on what was available, budget for purchases, and allow adequate training time to get up to speed. The first and second expos have been very successful events.
SAR showed up, as requested, at the China International Exhibition on Police Technologies & Equipment; China Police 2004 for short. It was somewhat unclear to us what the majority of the displays were going to be, but small arms and less than lethal technologies were mentioned, so we went to see the new technologies.
This was not an event entirely in the purview of SAR, but there were some very interesting displays, and we thought it important enough to bring the information to the readers. There were 263 exhibitors in 11 halls. 110 of the exhibitors were foreign companies, the balance were Chinese. It was clear that the estimate of 15,000 trade visitors attending was either met or exceeded as the expo was full at almost all times. The exhibitors seemed quite happy with the traffic. Small arms were not the primary focus of the exhibits. Less than lethal technologies, identification technology, security screening and “Problem solving” equipment such as bomb disposal robots covered the majority of the exhibit contents. It was quite fascinating to see the latest in facial recognition computer technology as well as the newest “People control” products such as chemical sprays and vehicles.
A variety of technical seminars were given in conjunction with the exhibition. Most of them concentrated on the use of helicopters and aerial surveillance platforms in police work and the control of events where there were a large number of people. There were two very interesting presentations on the use of a global view in security at these large events and the need to interface with the international police community in identifying the increasingly complex and well-educated terrorist threats. This is something that all modern societies need to address.
The next China Police Expo is in 2006 at the same exhibition center. The organizers operate shows all over Asia from Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong, and I would not hesitate to attend based on the professionalism of this offering.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V8N3 (December 2004)