Chinese officials say they are training more than 40,000 police officers to provide security and prevent terrorism during the 2008 Olympics.

The official news agency Xinhua reports that party officials launched the training program Thursday with a hostage rescue demonstration at Beijing's People's Police College.

The report quotes Beijing Olympic Security chief Qiang Wei as saying the city will need a strong force to handle or prevent any unexpected incidents.

A spokesman for the Beijing Public Security Bureau says the officers will receive a three-phased program over the next 18 months or so, including language training and basic skills, including strength training.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.