Du Hui, vice-head of the team, and her colleagues adjust the official customs entry stamps at the Qingdao Liuting International Airport on March 4. XIE HAO/China Daily
For passengers arriving on international flights in Qingdao, the coastal metropolis of East China's Shandong province, the first people they meet are a team of female police officers at the customs gates.
The all-female passenger inspection team was founded in 2002 to provide global tourists with a better first impression of the city. For 14 years, the team has always been composed of 15 women. They provide border-checking services with both strictness and warmth.
"Data shows that every passenger spends only 45 seconds going through customs," said Du Hui, vice-head of the team. "We hope to let them experience a warm China in the process."
The customs agents, with an average age of 28, are just as strict as men in the same job. Over the years, they have returned 320 criminals to their home countries for trial and prevented 37 escaped convicts from going abroad, saving the State over 9 million yuan ($1.38 million) in potential losses, officials said.
Since China's top leadership proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, Qingdao has been playing an increasingly important role in China's global strategy. As business opportunities flourish for Qingdao, the customs team will continue to play a role in welcoming new arrivals.