The Straits Times
Published on Oct 31, 2012

China restricts toy helicopters ahead of pivotal gathering


BEIJING (AFP) - Restrictions on the sale of radio-controlled helicopters and planes have been imposed in Beijing as China heightens security before a once-in-a-decade leadership change, state media said on Wednesday.

For some models of helicopters and planes, which can only be guided within a few metres, purchasers must prove their identity to the shopkeepers, Beijing's Youth Daily reported. Other shops have been ordered to suspend selling the toys altogether, the newspaper said.

The clampdown comes amid a tightening of security as the Communist Party prepares for a pivotal handover of power set to commence at the 18th Party Congress, which starts in Beijing next Thursday.

A total of 1.4 million volunteers have been mobilised to help safeguard the highly anticipated gathering, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.