Three Noes… No Pigeons, No planes, No…

hinese authorities aren’t kidding around when it comes to security measures for the Communist Party’s 18th congress, which begins November 8 in Beijing. In preparation for the once-in-a-decade event, where the party’s new leaders will be named, Beijing residents are already facing a host of bizarre restrictions.

They can no longer buy kitchen knives, or buy remote-controlled planes without registering them. And many taxi drivers, who have been told not to open their windows or doors if they pass by “important venues,” have also been forced to take off their passenger window handles. According to some reports, this last measure is intended to prevent passengers from throwing leaflets out of taxis. Last but not least, Chinese police have reportedly asked pigeons owners to keep their birds cooped up during the congress.

Chinese social networking site Weibo has been abuzz with reaction to these stringent rules; many users have posted photos of shop signs explaining the bans and of hastily-removed taxi window handles. The search term “18th Congress” has been censored on Weibo, but users are getting around this ban by using characters that sound like “congress.” entire article: observers.f