Terror Takes a Toll on Beijingers

In China, increased anti-terror measures have gone national in the last month, often to the considerable dismay of the people whom they’re supposed to protect.
Passengers queuing up outside a Beijing subway station to go through a security check. Photographer: STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Two weeks ago the ordinarily sleepy security personnel at my Shanghai subway stop woke up as I walked past them. My backpack, they told me, had to be run through the X-ray machine that's stood mostly idle in the four-plus years since it first appeared. I did as told, and as the bag emerged I was given another order: Please remove the bottle inside and drink whatever is in it. So I opened the bag, took out the bottle of water I bring to my gym and -- as the two guards watched -- drank deeply from it. "Ok," one said, satisfied that I hadn't died from imbibing some liquid explosives. "You can go."

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