The first group of 18 Chinese air marshals will fly to the United States next month for anti-terrorisn training, state media said on Wednesday. The marshals will spend two weeks learning anti-terrorism tactics at a special air marshal training school in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the China Daily newspaper quoted officials as saying.
After training, they will be deployed on flights between China and the United States operated by Chinese airlines, as part of a bilateral agreement on aviation security signed in April. US airlines began deploying air marshals on flights to China on August 9, the newspaper quoted the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) as saying.
"The latest terrorist plot that was thwarted by British police at Heathrow Airport on August 10 once again alerted the industry that the terrorist threat still lingers large in various forms," CAAC security director Yang Chengfeng was quoted as saying. "So collaboration is urgently needed between China and the US, particularly in the field of security checks, tactics, information, air marshal training and law enforcement," Yang said.
China has deployed more than 2,000 air marshals on domestic and international flights since 2004, the newspaper said. Most of the plain-clothes air marshals are recruited from airline security and police forces. All have undergone "rigorous courses in arrest techniques, negotiating tactics and crisis management," it said.
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