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China launches New Year anti-crime drive

BEIJING, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Chinese authorities Sunday announced an anti-crime campaign to protect the public's safety during the Chinese New Year holiday.

"As the spring festival approaches, mass activities, traffic, fire control and other agencies are adding more security measures for our society," Vice Minister Huang Ming told the government Xinhua news agency.

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He said the drive will target serious crimes involving guns and explosives, including online gun sales.

The ministry also called for heavier police protection of banks to stem robbery and theft, and police are being urged to help solve civilians' conflicts to prevent escalation to violence.

The spring festival or New Year, the most important traditional Chinese festival, falls on Feb. 3 this year. The campaign is to end May 1.

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