updated 7/4/2008 3:14:13 AM ET 2008-07-04T07:14:13

China plans to use unmanned security drones to patrol the skies over the Olympic sailing venue of Qingdao, state media reported Friday.

The drones were tested for the first time during a drill Wednesday in Jinan, the capital of eastern Shandong province, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. They are intended to scout out suspicious activity and transmit photos and videos back to a command station.

During the drill, two armed police personnel piloted the aircraft by remote from a location more than 50 yards away.

It is reportedly the first time China has used the low-flying reconnaissance spy craft.

China’s government, which has said that terrorism is the biggest threat to the Olympic Games, has launched extensive security measures, including mobilizing a 100,000-strong anti-terrorism force that includes police commandos, specialist units and regular army troops.

Dai Sujin, head of the armed police forces of Shandong, said the aircraft, which cost about $147,000 each, can reconnoiter several square miles and stay in the air for an hour.

The coastal city of Qingdao is the venue for the Olympic sailing events, which will draw 464 athletes from 65 countries. It is also the only host city besides Beijing to hold opening and closing ceremonies.

Besides the drones, 35 kinds of anti-terrorist weapons were shown in drills of mock hijackings and bomb attacks, including explosive disposal robots.

Meanwhile, Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu told security officials from the other five member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Thursday that China is prepared to increase cooperation on security and anti-terrorism for the Olympics.

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