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Urumqi eyes subway real-name system

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The capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Urumqi, will implement a real-name policy for its metro system, which will start operating by the end of the year, making the city the first to implement such a policy for metros.

A Monday report from Urumqi Evening News said the city's legislature on Sunday passed a series of regulations on rail traffic management, and one of these regulations states that city residents need to use their ID cards to buy metro tickets, and that those who use invalid tickets or try to use other people's ID cards will be fined.

The regulation will be submitted to Xinjiang's legislature for approval, the report said. Once the regulation is approved, Urumqi will become the first Chinese city to implement the real-name policy for metro services.

According to the regulation, the department operating the metro system should charge the people who falsely use other people's ID cards from 50 to 200 yuan ($7.90-31.80), the report said.

"Xinjiang is a special Chinese region facing the threat of terrorism, separatism and extremism, so it is understandable that the local government implements a special policy. In the future, Xinjiang could also share its experience with other regions with similar requirements after it effectively implements the policy," Xiong Kunxin, an ethnic studies expert and a professor at Tibet University in Lhasa, told the Global Times.

For instance, a city like Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, which has also experienced violent terrorist attacks, can learn from Urumqi if it plans to build a metro, Xiong said.

"In fact, almost every scenic spot in Lhasa uses the real-name ticketing system for security reasons," he said.

"The policy makes sense because Xinjiang's circumstances are different from other provinces and regions, and as a local resident, I hope the security at the metro in our city can match the airport standards," a Urumqi resident surnamed Wei, 28, told the Global Times.

Under strict governance and efforts from local law-enforcement departments, Urumqi's security situation has improved significantly in recent years.

Local residents told the Global Times  that there is almost no space for any violent crime in the city because the policemen will arrive at the venue within one minute after they receive a call from anywhere in the city.



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