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Outlook Weekly’s Special Interview with the Deputy Director of CCCMPS

[Editor’s Note: The Central Committee for the Comprehensive Management of Public Security (CCCMPS) is an agency in charge of social order. It is under the dual leadership of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council. The CCCMPS is a national system, with the Central Committee at the top of the hierarchy, and provincial and local level Committees penetrating to every level of the Chinese government. Zhou Yongkang, the CCP’s security czar and a member of Politburo standing committee, heads the national CCCMPS, while local Party secretaries or deputy secretaries head committees at the local level. Officials or Party cadres from Party agencies and government agencies in police, judiciary, state security, culture, and other fields staff the committees. Since the late 1990s, when social conflict in China started to increase, the CCCMPS has been playing a more and more prominent role in cracking down on or preventing social unrest and in exerting tight social control. The following is a translation of an interview with a senior official of the national CCCMPS regarding its most current practices.] [1]

“According to last year’s data, from January to November of 2010, the national public security organs filed a total of 5.34 million criminal cases, a 7.5% increase over the previous year; prosecutory organs filed 32,039 malfeasance cases for investigation, a 3.1% increase over the previous year; the courts accepted 9.75 million cases of all types, and social unrest is still running high,” said Chen Jiping, Deputy Director of the Central Committee for the Comprehensive Management of Public Security, Deputy Secretary-General of the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs under the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, and Director of the Central Office for the Comprehensive Management of Public Security, in a special interview with Outlook Weekly. Chen continued, “Therefore, advancing the three key tasks (resolving social conflicts, innovating social management, and fair and honest law enforcement), punishing crimes, and safeguarding public order and social stability, are not only the focus of comprehensive management this year, but also a very arduous task during the period of ‘the Twelfth Five-Year Period.’” [2] …

Outlook Weekly: What are the current key issues with respect to national security and social stability?

Chen Jiping: In the international arena, some hostile Western forces are intensifying their attempts to Westernize and divide our country. Under the banner of “protecting human rights,” they are intervening in conflicts among the people and deliberately manufacturing all kinds of trouble. Some Western developed countries are carrying out joint military exercises and forming regional alliances with our neighboring countries in an attempt to contain the rise of our country and put a roadblock in the way of our country’s development and advancement.

Domestically, development in the urban and rural areas is not balanced, there is a great disparity in income among different social groups, and social management and social services are lacking. As a result, the usual problems, such as improper land requisition, housing demolition, and enterprise restructuring are becoming more serious, and new conflicts from labor disputes and debt disputes are constantly arising. In short, factors that lead to society’s instability continue to exist and grow; chaos and public order still co-exist. This situation—in which conflicts between people are intensifying, there is a high volume of crime, and the struggles are complex—will not fundamentally change any time soon.

Currently, our society is generally stable overall. The economy continues to grow rapidly. Economic strength and national power are significantly improving. The level of social management and services continues to get better. People are happy with their lives and work, and their satisfaction with social security has been improving gradually. Several times in key regions, especially in recent years, under the correct leadership of the Central Committee (of Chinese Communist Party), the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management has coordinated with the Ministry of Public Security, as well as other authorities, to carry out investigations and corrections to improve public safety; campaigns against prostitution, gambling, drugs, and gangster operations; etc. We have concentrated on a large number of regions that have poor public security and been effective in combating a number of serious crimes, reversing chaotic situations and maintaining overall social stability.

Currently, some outstanding issues, which cannot be ignored, still exist. The major ones are: First, crimes of evil, underground forces, robbery, theft, prostitution, gambling, and drug trafficking are still rampant. Especially in some areas, the soil and conditions for these evil forces still exist. Second, in some areas, the nature of certain conflicts and disputes are becoming more diverse. They are related primarily to land requisition, housing demolition, enterprise restructuring, labor disputes, and health care disputes. Group events and incidents of individual extremists sometimes occur. Third, illegal activities are still widespread among the migrant population. The crimes committed by migrants constitute a large portion of all criminal activities, especially in the developed southeastern coastal regions. Fourth, some key security areas like the “urban village” and urban-rural intersections have issues such as insufficient public security management services, weak and idle grassroots organizations, an imperfect system for the prevention and control of criminal activities, major safety and security risks, and a dilapidated environment. Fifth, the public security protection and prevention system is not good. In areas with complex security patterns, some critical infrastructures do not have strict implementation of strict physical defensive systems and technical preventive measures, and they lack effective security mechanisms. Sixth, in some regions, conducting business illegally is still a major issue despite the repeated actions taken to stop it. Buildings constructed without proper approval are relatively common; public safety hazards are widespread; and major transportation, fire, and other accidents can endanger people’s lives and property. …

Outlook Weekly: What is the core task of comprehensive management in the area of national public security in 2011?

Chen Jiping: Our task  in 2011 is to carry out in-depth actions to resolve social conflicts, pay close attention to innovation in social management, strengthen the public security protection and control system, further strengthen the comprehensive management of the public order at the grassroots level, improve safety, and create a harmonious and stable social environment for the commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CCP, the implementation of “Twelfth Five-Year Plan,” and a successful 18th Party Congress in 2012.

A major task is to do a good job on innovation in social management. Right now China is in a historic period of economic transition and social transformation. As industrialization, urbanization, marketization, informationization, and globalization deepen and further develop, the old mechanisms and methods of the social management system can no longer fully meet the requirements for economic and social development. We must adapt to the new situation and new tasks, and further promote innovation in social management.

In particular, the Party’s Committee for Political and Legislative Affairs and the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management held a National Conference to Promote Trial Sites for Innovation in Social Management. The purpose was to guide the formation of these trial sites, which will lead to a social management system suitable for our socialist market economic system and play a the role of demonstrating social management innovation for the rest of the country to follow. During the conference, the guiding ideology, objectives and tasks, and basic principles were carefully studied and assigned for these trial sites.

The main emphasis of the guiding ideology and basic principles is to proactively push the entire country, including the trial cities, to start from the existing situation, focus on the key issues in the social management field that affect society’s harmony and stability, innovate using social management ideas, explore and improve relevant policies and regulations, streamline the work process, improve the work mechanism, and strengthen work measures. The goal is that, within one to two years, at trial sites the Party will be guiding the social management plan, the government will be responsible for implementing the plan, the public will generally accept it, and the general public will be involved. The goal is further to form a social management system suitable for the socialist market economy and to provide experiences, lessons, and innovations for the entire country to further advance in social management. Basic principles include: adherence to the Party leadership and to the government taking responsibility; persistence in relying on the public and improving the people’s livelihood; consolidating the foundation and improving the network; managing according to the law and standardizing development; adherence to comprehensive management and centralized management; and aiming at major breakthroughs and advancing as a whole.

The concept of social management is broad and touches upon many aspect of social development. Therefore, when considering the innovations at the comprehensive management trial sites, we should focus on resolving the key issues of social management that affect social harmony and stability. Following the spirit of the National Conference of Political and Legal Work as well as the National Conference of Comprehensive Management, the innovations in social management encompass the innovations in the social services model, such as deepening administrative reform, establishing service-oriented government, and strengthening the public service and social management functions of the government; strengthening social development, improving and protecting people’s livelihoods, moving forward with an integrated public service system that will serve both urban and rural areas; and establishing a grid-based social service model. At the same time, in view of the weak links in social management, the innovations in social management include specific requirements and measures aimed at dissolving social conflicts, management of special populations, investigations and remediation in key regions, grassroots development, management of two types of new organizations, and controlling the Internet. [3]

First, we require local Party committees and local governments to attach great importance to social management. It is in the Twelfth Five-Year plan for national economic and social development, in the term target for officials, in the overall assessment scheme for social and public security management, and in the performance evaluation criteria for leaders of the Party and government, with a strict accountability mechanism. (The aim is) to establish innovation in social management leadership groups, which the Party leads, the government is responsible for, and comprehensive management authorities coordinate. The staff for the leadership group will consist of representatives from political and legal authorities, development and reform commissions, civil affairs offices, treasury organs, organs dealing with human resources and social security, housing, urban-rural development, and industry and commerce authorities, with strengthened control by the Party.

Second, we require that provincial, district, and municipal governments strengthen the guidance and direction of the trial sites, and organize and coordinate all parts of the comprehensive social management system into one body. We require that all parts of the Party’s Central Social Management Committee study and formulate an overall strategy for the innovations in social management that they have come up with, based on their respective responsibilities in social management innovation work, and proactively participate in the liaison and guidance of related work in the country and at the trial sites.

Third, we require that local governments and the trial sites establish full and part time teams to do social management; strengthen and develop prevention teams of social workers, volunteer organizations, and social security volunteers; that they give full play to their positive roles in social management; establish a social management network where the government control mechanism interconnects with the social coordination mechanism, and where government administration and social self-management complement each other, and government management and social management interact with each other.

Fourth, we require local governments and the trial sites to utilize fully information technologies in social management innovation to establish a comprehensive information system of social management that will be encompassing, dynamic, collaborative and fully functional in order to build an IT platform for social management and raise the IT level as it applies to social management in new situations.

Fifth, we require that local governments and the trial sites take the opportunity of developing the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” to set up a dedicated program for innovation in social management and start to develop the program.

Outlook Weekly: Are there any other problems that need immediate resolution?

Chen Jiping: In addition to doing innovation in social management well, in 2011 our work will use the correct measures to target other current outstanding issues, including the following:

First, we will carry out mediation work to resolve conflicts. Along with the implementation of the People’s Mediation Law of the People’s Republic of China, we will push forward people’s mediation work, further perfect a large scale mediation system, highlight reinforced administrative mediation, and push local departments to carry out their responsibility to resolve conflicts.

Specifically, it includes across-the-board promotion of the social stability risk assessment mechanism to evaluate both the economic benefits and social stability risks of major programs and policies that may impact the interests of the people. We will assess whether we should do it, and also if we are able to make it, so as to avoid conflicts caused by inappropriate policies. We will also establish professional mediation trade and industry organizations to deal with conflicts in land requisition, labor disputes, health care disputes, workplace safety, food and medicine safety, intellectual property, traffic accidents and anything else which may arise; to promote investigations and mediation of lawsuits, claims and petitions for grievances, conduct studies of cases that impact social stability; and to hold on-site national conferences on social conflict resolution to share experiences and lessons learned.

Second, we will strengthen public security in the areas of prevention and control. In the current situation, we must always follow the principle of striking hard; join forces with multiple authorities and multiple police forces; focus on serious crackdowns; launch severe blows against the evil forces to prevent crime, including violent crimes, robbery, theft, and other high volume crimes against property; effectively carry out the spirit of the strike hard campaign throughout the process of investigation, detection, arrest, prosecution, trial, execution, and other elements; and severely penalize those who commit serious crimes as a strong deterrent against illegal and criminal activities. We will continue to carry out investigations and remediation actions in key regions and may organize two unannounced visits throughout the year.

On the other hand, we will put prevention first, based on the present but with a view toward the future, and conduct an analysis of the root cause of the problem. From the perspective of institutional mechanisms and means to strengthen methods and other aspects of social development, we will propose effective measures to reinforce social development and innovation in social management in order to eliminate the soil that breeds social chaos at its source. We will exert great efforts to strengthen grassroots Party organizations; gradually improve the social security prevention and control system; and fully implement economic, political, cultural, social, and other measures to continuously improve the social management services.

Third, we will strengthen grassroots work. Specifically, we will strengthen the comprehensive management committees and offices in towns and villages and provide full time staff. We will take the development of village, community, and neighborhood offices as a priority and improve and standardize the development of neighborhood offices where the staff can perform comprehensive management and coordinate the grassroots management platform.

[1] Xinhua, “Outlook Weekly’s Special Interview with the Deputy Director of the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security: 2011, a New Deployment for Social Harmony and Stability,” February 19, 2011
[2] Twelfth Five-Year Period: The Chinese government has made a plan for every five year period since 1953, when the government introduced the First Five-Year Plan. The Twelfth Five-Year Period refers to 2011 – 2015.
[3] Two types of new organizations refer to new economic organizations and new social organizations. New economic organizations include foreign investment, sole proprietors and other non-state-owned economic entities. New social organizations refer to civic societies and other nongovernment noneconomic organizations.