10/07/2015, 00.00
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Beijing "100%" under control with cameras and sensors

Proudly announced by municipal police: "No corners have escaped us". The "coverage" is part of a national policy called skynet: big cities will be all and always under the eye of the authorities. The dissidents protest "they speak of security, but it's just another way to control us all. "

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Despite the huge land mass, the city of Beijing "is 100% controlled by security cameras and sensors installed by the government. No corner of the capital is beyond our control",  proudly declares Department of the municipal police, in a statement confirming the 29% increase of the electronic surveillance by the State: "It 'an effective way to boost security and crime prevention”.

The "coverage" of Beijing is part of a national policy called "skynet", which foresees similar moves in all big cities of the country. In the capital alone  4,300 policemen have been trained to use the cameras: according to the official Xinhua news agency, thanks to the images "more than 1,500 criminal cases have been resolved, an increase of 22% compared to 2014".

However, several dissidents believe that security is only one of the priorities of the government. Speaking to Radio Free Asia, the renowned activist Hu Jia says: "The real purpose of 'skynet' is control over the behavior of the people on the streets." According to Ye Du, based in Guangzhou, the rise of electronic control was decided after the 2013 bombing of Tiananmen Square: "The authorities want to reduce the 'threat' from Xinjiang and Tibet, and stop the rise in protests for freedom”.

The city of Beijing extends over 16,800 square kilometers: inside there are two counties, 16 prefectures and 289 municipalities. The inhabitants have exceeded 20 million, but it is impossible to calculate the number of migrant workers who every season move to the capital - no papers and no rights - looking for work. The estimated cost of the "skynet" operation to this city alone is about 150 million euro, including purchase of equipment and salaries of officials in charge of making it work

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