Chinese President Hu Jintao rode the Beijing metro system [June 25] to test the capital's transport preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games.
Wearing a white sleeved shirt, he stepped onto a China Railways High-speed (CRH) train that shuttles between the Beijing South Railway Station and the neighboring Tianjin Municipality.
"The high-speed trains have been a milestone in the history of China's railway development," he told rail officials and stewards while on board. He stressed the need to provide safe and fast service during the August Games.
The inter-city shuttle will transport Olympic spectators, athletes and other passengers during the Games. Some football preliminary matches will be held in Tianjin.
When arriving back to the Dongzhimen metro terminal in the capital's downtown, Hu purchased a ticket from an automat machine and test rode the new line to the Beijing Capital International Airport.
"Beijing's metro system has developed quickly by extending its length and coverage. The system has made a great contribution to easing the traffic pressure.
"The metro's administrators should provide safe, comfortable and fast transportation for both the Olympic personnel and ordinary citizens during the Games, since visitors from home and abroad will increase a lot."
After the 20-minute ride, Hu reminded waitresses serving in the main hall of the newly-built terminal three at the airport to keep in good order and provide decent service, as the spectacular Norman Foster-designed structure was the "first gate of the country" that most foreigners saw.
Hu told some foreign passengers waiting in the terminal that China would "open its arms to welcome all the friends of the world to come."
He also inspected the main tower of the airport which handled thousands of flights daily and was delighted to know that parking bays for aircraft had been increased from 164 to 314.
"All the transportation systems prepared for the Games should do their last-minute checks and secure safety and speed as the host city promised to the world. The preparations should satisfy all visitors and benefit local residents."