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Chinese Anti-Hijack Squad Learning Kung Fu

May 8, 1987

HONG KONG (AP) _ China is using the ancient art of kung fu to fight the modern scourge of air piracy, a news report said Friday.

The Hong Kong China News Service said members of a Chinese air force anti- hijacking squad are learning the famed Shao Lin martial arts skills as part of their training.

Fan Yinglian, a martial arts expert from Sichuan province in central China, taught his skills to other Chinese security groups and recently was hired to teach Shao Lin kung fu to the special unit, the report said.

Shao Lin is the name of a Chinese Buddhist monastery noted for its fighting monks who developed a style of martial arts during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) involving combative boxing and use of weapons such as large poles.

The report gave no details about the special unit.

China has had several hijackings.

A Soviet citizen was sentenced to eight years imprisonment in China for hijacking a Soviet plane to northeast China in December 1985.

A British Airways jet bound from Hong Kong to Beijing was diverted to Taiwan in March 1984. One year earlier, six Chinese hijacked a plane to South Korea and were allowed to go to Taiwan after serving short jail terms.

In July 1982, an attempted hijack was foiled when passengers beat up the hijackers. Two of the air pirates were later executed.

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