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Chinese air marshals to train in the US 29/08/2006

China will send the first batch of air marshals for training in the United States in an indication of strengthening cooperation between the two nations on combating terrorism.

The Beijing Youth Daily reports, the trainees will leave in early September for a two-week course at the Federal Air Marshal Training Centre in Atlantic City.

The report says the elite officers have previously been trained at paramilitary People's Armed Police Academy in Langfang, a city in northern China's Hebei province.

China set in motion a plan to establish its own air marshal force shortly after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

Previous reports have said the 2,000 member force was deployed in August 2004.

In April this year, China and the United States reached an agreement to allow US air marshals on board flights bound for China and vice versa, which took effect this month.

Produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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