Editor’s Note: Published in New York, “Beijing Spring” is a Chinese monthly magazine founded in June, 1993. Its goal is to promote human rights, democracy and social justice in China. In September 2006, Mr. Lu Gengsong wrote an article titled “China’s Armed Police and Nationalization of the Police Force,” which gives a detailed analysis of China’s police system. Mr. Lu, a member of China’s Democratic Party in Zhejiang Province, has written a number of articles to examine China’s political system as a freelance writer. In August 2007, Public Security Bureau in Hangzhou City (capital city of Zhejiang Province) arrested him. In January 2008, local procuratorial authorities accused him of “inciting the subversion of state power.” The following is the translation of Mr. Lu’s article “China’s Armed Police and Nationalization of the Police Force.” 
Not a Typical Army but Similar to an Army; Not a Typical Police Force but more than a Police Force
The PAP used to be treated as “auxiliary division” within China’s military system. However, after Jiang Zemin took office, this “auxiliary division” became the “normal division”. Over the time, the size of the PAP grew larger and larger; the equipments became more and more sophisticated; the official perks it enjoyed got better and better. It almost became “The Central Army” or “The Privileged Core”. In 1988, when the military ranks were initially assigned, Commander of the PAP at Headquarters(HQ) level Li Lianxiu was Lieutenant General, and the Political Commissar Zhang Xiufu was Major General. The Commanders and Political Commissars of the PAP Corps under the PAP HQ were Senior Colonels or Colonels. Now, the ranks of the Commanders and the Political Commissars of the PAP at HQ level are all Generals while the ranks of the Commanders and the Political Commissars of the PAP Corps at levels of Province, Autonomous region or major municipality are all Major Generals. And also the ranks of the Directors and Political Commissars of the PAP at commander-in-chief’s office level for Gold Mining Troops, Hydro Power Troops, Forestry Troops, Transportation Troops, Xinjiang Construction Regiment, and Three Georges Dam Project of Yangtze River are all Major Generals. Although the PAP technically is at the Grand Military Region level with a size of 1.5 million people – half of the total PLA force. Expanding the PAP to such a large organization was to satisfy Jiang Zemin’s personal agenda. During his reign, the PAP was turned into his private military force as it was called “Jiang’s Family Army”. Jiang took office with fear after the June 4th Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Without military experience and the prestige like Mao or Deng, he was extremely afraid that the Military would not listen to him and he be out of control. Under the political pretense of “stability supercedes everything”, he kept the PAP under his control. He appointed his confidant Ba Zhongyan (former Commander of Shanghai Garrison) as Chief Commander of the PAP HQ. Meanwhile, Jiang expanded the PAP and turned it into his private army. Jiang’s restructuring of the PAP was based on the following considerations: Firstly, he didn’t have any military power or experience; if difficult to establish his reputation in the military in a short time, it would be better to create a new force as his own private army in promoting his reputation in the military.
Secondly, one of the PAP’s responsibilities was to guard the safety of leaders of the Party and the Central Government. Through the PAP security duties, Jiang could subject other central government leaders under his surveillance. Thirdly, under the international community’s pressure for disarmament, by just converting part of the military force into armed police, he would still be able to keep the same amount of armed force while earning himself the international reputation of the cooperation in disarmament and winning the support from the part of the military that’s been kept. Finally, when the military was used to suppress the Students Movement in 1989, even Deng’s decision was opposed by senior military officials. However, if the PAP were used, it would be by the book, since one of the main duties of the PAP is to suppress domestic rebellions.
When Jiang was restructuring the PAP, he had another intention: to contain the PLA. Albeit Chairman of Central Military Commission (CMC), he had never led troops in a war, so he had to worry about the possible situation when the military turns back against him. If there was a riot and face-to-face fight, the PAP, equipped with short-range weapons and martial arts, had a natural advantage over the PLA that were only good at long-range weapons. In 1992, it was reported that the Ministry of National Security acquired an intelligence report for the White House from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The report said that after Deng’s death, Chinese communist regime would face a great threat. If any incident like June 4th Tiananmen Students Movement in 1989 happened again, the Chinese Communist Party would lose its power for sure. In the report CIA concluded that Deng’s death would signify the end of the CCP’s ruling by military strongmen who believed in “political power from the gun”. Under such situation, if any incident like June 4th Tiananmen Students Movement in 1989 should happen again, the Chinese leaders would not have the abilities or the guts to order the military to suppress people, let alone, with group leadership, for all top leaders of the CCP to agree on such a matter unanimously. As long as one or two leaders should disagree, the CCP would fall apart. In other words, the CCP’s power was maintained by its military forces. When it suddenly lost its powerful leader with guts and ability to marshal the military forces, the consequence would be inconceivable. This was what Jiang feared the most. Therefore, with strategies from Zeng Qinghong and other advisors, Jiang started to get into the PAP business and the business went “better and better”.
The PAP was formally created in 1983. During its first 20 years, its name, structure and designation had not changed much. In October of 1996, the CMC converted 14 PLA infantry divisions to be part of the PAP, directly under the leadership of the PAP HQ as the mobile division of the PAP [Internal] Security Troops. In the beginning of 1999, the PAP specialty troops that previously reported to various state ministries – the Hydro Power Troops, the Gold Mining Troops, the Transportation Troops and the Forestry Troops – were completely changed to the direct leadership of the PAP HQ, creating at the HQ level the PAP Forestry Commander-in-Chief’s Office, the PAP Hydro Power Commander-in-Chief’s Office, the PAP Transportation Commander-in-Chief’s Office, the PAP Gold Mining Commander-in-Chief’s Office and the PAP Xinjiang Production and Construction Regiment Commander-in-Chief’s Office. In the beginning of 20th Century, the PAP Three Gorges Dam Project Commander-in-Chief’s Office was also created.
The PAP system has three major components: the Border Patrol Troops, the Fire Fighting Troops and the Security Troops are under the Public Security system; the Internal Security Troops is under the military system; the Hydro Power Troops, the Gold Mining Troops, the Transportation Troops and the Forestry Troops are under various ministries. The Internal Security Troops, consisting of the PAP corps at the levels of province, autonomous region and provincial-level city, and mobile divisions, is the essential force of the PAP. Different levels of the Internal Security Troops are governed by the local party committees, administrative authorities, and their superiors inside the PAP system. The operation of the Hydro Power Troops, the Gold Mining Troops and the Transportation Troops are managed by the Ministry of Public Security and their related ministries – the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Metallurgy and Ministry of Transportation. The Forestry Troops is subject to dual leadership of mainly the Forestry Ministry system and the Ministry of Public Security system, and also subject to the leadership of both central and local governments, but mainly local governments. What’s more, there is a specialty corps in the PAP system, called the PAP Specialty Police Corps. There are two types of Specialty Police Corps, one under the PAP and one under the Public Security system. The Specialty Police Corps under the Public Security system does not belong to the PAP system but under local Police Departments. The Specialty Police Corps under the PAP was actually called “The PAP Beijing Specialty Police College” (a unit at the administrative level of Lt. General /Deputy Governor, i.e., [Grand] Military Region/Provincial level). This is a new kind of specialty police corps that can be called a corps or college, and is a combination of both. The predecessor of the PAP Specialty Police Corps was the “Anti-Hijack Specialty Police Corps” established on July 22, 1982, code-named “Police Corps #727 of the Ministry of Public Security”. In 1983, the Corps was changed to be under the PAP HQ and was renamed as “China PAP Specialty Police Group”. Its tasks were explicitly defined to be anti-hijack, anti-terrorism and anti-riot. Later on, its name was changed to “China PAP Specialty Police School” according to the regulatory/policy directives issued regularly by State Council and Ministry of Public Security. In September of 1985, the school recruited its first batch of students. In August of 1999, the renowned “Specialty Policewomen’s Unit of the PAP Sichuan Corps” moved to Beijing and became the first specialty policewomen’s combat unit in the “PAP Beijing Specialty Police School”. In May of 2005, it changed its name to the “PAP Beijing Specialty Police College” according to the CMC’s approval. The College had two specialties – specialized policing and reconnaissance. It consisted of three cadet units and was a three-year college. Since 2004, it started to recruit cadets for Bachelor’s Degrees. After their graduation, some of them were assigned to the Combat Division of the PAP Beijing Specialty Police College; the majority of the cadets were assigned to the PAP Specialty Police Corps at provincial level as the essential members in training or combating; some were assigned to be commanders with mobile divisions. In nature, the PAP specialty police was internal security service.
During the period when Jiang Zemin was in power, the PAP suddenly became dominant. Not only did they become CCP’s favorite among the military but also came across as the overbearing big brother with police force. It turned out that they were not a typical army but similar to an army, not a typical police force but more than a police force. The head counts of the PAP were half of the PLA and were about the same as the police force. But its weaponry was much better than that of the police force.
At the same time, its light weaponry was also better than that of the military. And its jurisdiction spanned that of the military and the police force. The critical functions of the PAP for the CCP are the guard and internal security service. The internal security service functions as the guards for the CCP officials and top leadership organizations. The PAP Security Troops has a nickname – “Commander’s Nine City Gates Infantry” which, of course, refers to the armed police force in Beijing. The CCP top leaders are all cowards. Beijing’s security force is a multi-layered organization that consists of the Central Security Bureau, the Security Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, the Beijing PAP Corps and the Beijing Garrison. The Central Security Bureau is also called the Ninth Bureau of the General Office of Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party (CCCCP), which is directly controlled by CMC. Its responsibility is to safeguard the leaders above the levels of Standing Committee of the Politburo of CCP and CMC. The Ninth Bureau of the General Office of CCCCP was the former Security Division of the General Office of CCCCP, created in April, 1949 in Xibaipo Village. In March of 1950, it was expanded and became the Security Bureau of the General Office of CCCCP, also called the Eighth Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. The responsibilities of the Eighth Bureau covered many areas. At that time, the Director was Liu Wei and the Deputy Directors were Wang Dongxing (concurrently as the Chief of the First Division of the General Office of CCCCP), Meng Zhaoliang and Yue Xin. There were security, health and supply sections under the Eighth Bureau. In 1953, to change the situation that the Eighth Bureau had too many duties, it was divided into two components. Those who were in charge of the internal security of Zhongnanhai Compound in the First Division became the Zhongnanhai Security Bureau of the General Office of CCCCP (the Ninth Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security). Its Director was Wang Dongxing and Deputy Director was Zhang Yaoci. It was responsible for the internal security service for Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Chen Yun, and other leaders in Standing Committee of the Politburo of the CCP and General Secretary of CCP Central Committee, including also the security for the Zhongnanhai Compound and other critical CCP and State offices, ministries or departments. After the Ninth Bureau branched out, the Director of the Eighth Bureau was still Liu Wei and the Deputy Directors were Liu Huishan and Zhang Tingzhen. The Eighth Bureau was to direct the security services in provinces and cities, and responsible for the security services of the senior leaders other than those covered by the Ninth Bureau, so called “Four VPs and Two Supremes” – Vice-Chairman of National People’s Congress (NPC), Vice-President of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Vice-Premier of State Council, Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China, Procurator-General of Supreme People’s Procuratorate and President of Supreme People’s Court, leaders of CMC, visiting foreign leaders, and large scale public events. In April of 1964, the Eighth Bureau and the Ninth Bureau were combined as the new Ninth Bureau with Wang Dongxing as Director, Zhang Yaoci, Li Shuhuai, Mao Weizhong, Yang Dezhong, Hao Ruoyu and Wang Shengrong as Deputy Directors. In October of 1969, the Ninth Bureau and the Central Security Regiment (Unit 8431, established in 1942 from the Security Battalion and Central Instructors Group) were combined as the Security Division of the General Office of CCCCP, under the military system, promoted to the corps level. The Chief of the Division was Wang Dongxing and 16 people were Deputy Chiefs.
In 1977, the Security Division of the General Office of CCCCP expanded the Central Security Regiment to become the Central Security Division. The Security Division of the General Office of CCCCP became the Security Bureau of the General Office of CCCCP, Central Security Bureau in short (currently called the Security Bureau of General Staff Department). Wang Dongxing was the Director. In 1979, the Central Security Bureau of the General Office of CCCCP was reorganized. Deng Xiaoping appointed his trusted subordinate, Yang Dezhong, as the Director. Zhang Yaoci who used to be responsible for Mao Zedong’s security was appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff of Chengdu Military Region. Former Deputy Directors Wu Jianhua, Wu Jicheng, Mao Weizhong and Di Fucai were all promoted to positions at provincial military region’s level. This personnel restructuring was called “The Big Personnel Reshuffle of Palace Guards”. In August of 1994, Jiang Zemin appointed his trusted subordinate, You Xigui, as the Director of Central Security Bureau (concurrently as the Chief of the Central Security Division), and Yang Dezhong was kicked out. Shortly before the CCP’s 16th National Congress, Jiang Zemin’s trusted subordinate, Wang Gang, the Party Secretary of Central Security Bureau, and You Xigui strongly urged Jiang Zemin to be the Head of the Central Security Bureau “on behalf of” all the officials and soldiers of the Central Security Bureau. Thus, a new position was created – First Political Commissar of Central Security Bureau. By October 15, 2002, the restructuring of the Central Security Bureau was done. The new Central Security Force consisted of the Specialty Police Corps from the Chengdu Military Region, the Security Corps from Shenyang Military Region and the Second Artillery Corps, totaling 5600 officials and soldiers.
In the beginning of November, 2002 (right before the CCP’s 16th National Congress), CCCCP and the CMC announced that Jiang Zemin was appointed First Political Commissar of Central Security Bureau. It was reported that the Central Security Bureau was restructured again completely in all different levels, from squad, platoon, company, battalion to division, before Hu Jintao’s visit to U.S. on April 18, 2006. Although the information on the internet still indicated that You Xigui was the Director and Zhang Baozhong, Ma Jinhu, Zhao Liujiang, Sun Zhigong, Yan Min, Jiang Guangqing and Li Hongfu were Deputy Directors. In fact, the Bureau was already restructured again. You Xigui was only responsible for Jiang Zemin’s personal security. The daily operation of the Central Security Bureau was under Sun Zhigong, Hu Jintao’s personal security chief. It was reported that this was another “Big Personnel Reshuffle of Palace Guards”. In July of 2005, the top leaders of the PAP HQ were also changed: the former Deputy Chief of Staff, Liu Hongjun, was promoted as Deputy Commander, the former Deputy Commander, Liu Shimin, was appointed as Deputy Political Commissar, the former Deputy Director of Political Department, Li Qingyin, was promoted as Deputy Political Commissar. The local PAP corps were also restructured, including the top leaders at military corps/provincial level, such as Sichuan Province, Jilin Province and Qinghai Province. It was reported that this restructuring of the PAP force was one of Hu Jintao’s measures to consolidate his power.
After the restructuring, the Eight Bureau was under the PAP system, and its correspondent local subordinates, such as the Eighth Divisions at the levels of Provincial Public Security Offices and City Public Security Bureaus, are all under the PAP system; but they are under the jurisdiction of Public Security system. The Eighth Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security is now called the Security Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS). Its Director is the PAP Major General Dong Fuyuan. It is still responsible for the so-called “Four VPs and Two Supremes” – Vice-Chairman of National People’s Congress (NPC), Vice-President of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Vice-Premier of State Council, Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China, Procurator-General of Supreme People’s Procuratorate and President of Supreme People’s Court, and important foreign affairs events.
The responsibilities of the Central Security Bureau and the Security Bureau of MPS are to safeguard the top leaders of CCP. However, Beijing is a place with a lot of top officials and it is also a political, economical and cultural center. The security services for those latter aspects in Beijing are entrusted with the Beijing PAP Corps and Beijing Garrison. In June of 1949, before the CCP took power, the Pingjin Garrison HQ was established. Later in January of 1959, it was changed to be the Beijing Garrison under the Beijing Military Region. At the same time, the Beijing Garrison was also the military service office for Beijing Municipal CCP Committee and the military conscription service work-unit for Beijing City Government. It was under the dual leadership of Beijing Military Region as well as the Beijing Municipal CCP Committee and Beijing City Government. Beijing Garrison had reduced its size quite a bit when the PAP was established. It used to have four full-size Type-A Security Divisions, but now it only has two Security Divisions (First Security Division and Third Security Division), one In-reserve Anti-aircraft Artillery Division, one Anti-Chemical Weapon Regiment and some training and instruction groups. The First Security Division is responsible for the security of important locations of military headquarters, CMC leaders’ residences and other important head offices and divisions. The Third Security Division is actually a Motorized Infantry Division without any security service duties.
The Beijing PAP Corps is responsible for internal security service. It provides security services for CCCCP leaders who do not live in the Zhongnanhai Compound, Beijing city level non-military governmental organizations, foreign missions, etc. Currently, the Beijing Garrison and the Beijing PAP Corps are of the same military rank without any type of affiliation. However, the First Division of the Beijing PAP Corps is the former Second Security Division of Beijing Garrison. In 1999, the former First Beijing PAP Corps (promoted to military vice-corps level in 1993) and the Second Beijing PAP Corps were combined and became the new Beijing PAP Corps (at military corps level, subordinating the First Division, the Second Division and several military brigade level units). Later, two more divisions were added to the Beijing PAP Corps. Among all the PAP corps in provinces, autonomous regions or provincial-level cities, only the Beijing PAP Corps is at the rank of full military corps level. It has four divisions and close to 20 division level units, which indicates the importance of Beijing municipality.
Forces responsible for the [internal] security services are actually police forces in military uniforms. Their duties are not law enforcement but rather, to suppress citizens. During recent years, the PAP security corps or troops have been used to suppress the ordinary Chinese citizens who appeals to the government for their human rights. It was reported that, in 2005, the PAP troops were ordered to have carried out suppression tasks 21,076 times; 818 counts for casualties in the process of carrying out those suppression orders, of which, of course, the targeted ordinary citizen death toll was not counted in. Observers believe that when Jiang Zemin created the PAP, his main purposes were to suppress the Uyghurs who sought independence in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the millions of workers who lost their jobs and who were not satisfied with the on-going reduction of their income due to state-owned enterprises going out of businesses or lackluster profit performances, and the farmers who had been protesting because of illegal land confiscation by government officials; to eliminate qigong organizations; and to repress the Hui ethnic group, Tibetans and those “not well-behaved” students. After Hu Jintao came into power, he inherited Jiang Zemin’s policy and used the PAP even more frequently.