Beijing police have banned Halloween costumes and make-up in the city's subway system, and have warned that violators could face arrest, Reuters reported Friday, citing a state-run newspaper. The news of the ban comes ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit scheduled to take place in the city next month.
Authorities are concerned people wearing costumes during Friday's Halloween celebrations could cause “trouble” and “panic,” while large gatherings could create unnecessary chaos on the city’s extensive subway network, Reuters reported. The restriction is reportedly a part of guidelines related to the APEC summit as the country tightens security in preparation for the arrival of international leaders for the conference, which has been billed as a high-profile international event on par with the 2008 Olympics hosted by Beijing.
"Public transport police point out, please do not wear strange outfits in subway stations or in train carriages, which could easily cause a crowd to gather and create trouble," Reuters reported, citing Beijing News.
Halloween, which is celebrated on Oct. 31 and is popular in the United States and other Western nations, is not widely celebrated in China. But, Beijing is reportedly gearing up for the APEC event, which is scheduled for Nov. 10-11, by increasing security as well as traffic control from Saturday until Nov. 12.
"If the chaos is serious and causes a stampede or other public safety incident, the police will deal with it severely in accordance with the law."