Security Checkpoints of the Beijing Subway System


Security checkpoints are standard procedures at all Beijing subway stations, having been implemented before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Since then, bags have been required to be scanned, but other procedures have been randomly implemented on-and-off. Let’s go over what to expect when entering Beijing’s subway stations.

At all stations, subway passengers with handbags, luggage, or any large item with the ability to conceal a weapon or illegal carry-on is to be scanned through the x-ray scanners. It’s obeyed by most passengers because security attendants keep an eye on those entering, although some passengers don’t comply by evading the checkpoint and attendants. For the security of everyone riding the subway, along with saving the hassle of arguing with a security attendant, it may be worth your time to just comply. On Beijing Subway Line 1 surrounding Tiananmen Square (Xidanand Tiananmen East and West stations), security is more heightened and airport-style body scanners are also used to screen passengers. With national security concerns around these historic and important areas, it does make sense. Since early 2014, a pilot trial has been underway at several subway stations around Beijing implementing the same measures. Also, from time to time, water bottles will be separately screened, either through a machine, or by having passengers take a sip of the bottle while passing through the security checkpoint.

Passenger safety is a high priority for Beijing, especially its network of subway lines covering most of the city, so it’s no wonder why these security measures are taking place. For a subway system that averages over seven million riders a day, it’s crucial to protect the public. Next time you enter a subway station, appreciate and cooperate for everyone’s sake.