China Security Crackdown Includes Pigeons, Toy Planes

No dissent tolerated ahead of meeting of congress
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2012 4:26 PM CDT
In this photo taken on Monday, civil servants of the provincial government perform with Communist flags to celebrate the upcoming 18th National Congress in China.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Those planning to let their pet pigeons stretch their wings over Beijing tomorrow will have to reschedule. To limit potential protests or security threats before the opening of the Central Committee meeting, the Chinese government has made some interesting new rules, reports the AP. Among them: Pigeon owners must keep their birds on the ground, taxi windows can't be rolled down, and if you want to buy anything from pingpong balls to balloons to toy planes, you'll need at least an ID, and maybe even explicit permission from the police.

All these items, you see, could potentially be used to distribute incendiary messages. Some citizens say they saw window handles completely torn off in taxi cabs to prevent passengers from tossing leaflets as they rode by important locations. The regulations extend to the Internet, where certain political phrases (like "18th Party Congress") have been banned. China is getting ready to make a once-in-a-decade shift in leadership. (Read more China stories.)

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