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China News: Three Reasons Why Xi Jinping Regained Exclusive Control of the Armed Police Force

China News published an article on the three reasons why Xi Jinping regained exclusive control of the Armed Police less than one week after the 19th National Congress. According to the article, an announcement was issued that the State Council and the Military Commission will no longer co-manage the armed police. The Military Commission will manage the armed police directly. The local municipal government does not have the authority to mobilize the armed police either. The article listed three reasons why Xi Jinping decided to gain the sole authoritative power over the armed police:

First, Xi Jinping wants to prevent any future “usurpation of party or state power.” When Zhou Yongkang was in power, the armed police expanded rapidly. The millions of armed police enabled the Political and Legal Affairs Commission to be the second power center in the central administration. On the second day of the 19th National Congress, the official news media disclosed for the first time that Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang, Ling Jihua, Guo Boxiong and Sun Bocan allegedly planned to “usurp the power of the party and the state.” The news became the focus of the media overseas because the armed police force was used and directly involved in that unsuccessful coup. The old structure became a major threat to Xi Jinping. Therefore Xi decided to eliminate it.

Second, Xi disabled the power of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission over the armed police force and placed it directly under the control of the Military Commission. His real intent was to diminish the power of Political and Legal Affairs Commission. During the power struggle at the National Congress, Xi won in most of the areas but not in all. One of the areas he failed to win was the Political and Legal Affairs Commission which Zhou Yongkang and Meng Jianzhu controlled and which Guo Shengkun currently leads. All of them belong to Jiang Zemin’s faction and Jiang did not want to let go. Detaching the armed police from the Political and Legal Affairs Commission is the first step in that direction and more may follow.

Third, during the era when Jiang Zemin and Zhou Yongkang were in power, they established a system to “use violence to achieve stability” in which the armed police played a critical role. Now the armed police force is directly under the Military Commission. The local municipal government no longer has the authority to direct it when there are large scale rights protests or mass incidents. They must let the central administration decide whether the armed police force can be used. This represents a change in the old model Jiang and Zhou developed: to “use violence to achieve stability.”

Source: China News, November 2, 2017
http://news.creaders.net/china/2017/11/02/1885331.html

RFA: During 19th National Congress, Foreign Media Reporters Subjected to ID Checks; Complain about Lack of Contents to Cover

According to an article Radio Free Asia (RFA) published, during the 19th National Congress, reporters from foreign media have been under tightened security and have been limited in what they could report. The article stated that the reporters have been subjected to ID checks at hotels throughout Beijing. On certain occasions, reporters have only been allowed to listen during delegate meetings but could not raise any questions. Even when they were allowed to ask questions, reporters complained that there was not much to write about. All they heard was that almost all the delegates they interviewed gave similar answers such as, “Support Xi’s core values and line up with the central administration,” “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” or “The central administration is centered on comrade Xi.” The article stated that the police, the armed police, the special police, and the plain clothes police could be seen everywhere. Hotel staff have been told to pay special attention to reporters and to perform ID checks on them.

Source: Radio Free Asia, October 19, 2017
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/zhengzhi/ql1-10192017095300.html

Duowei News: Beijing Tightened Requirements for Street Cleaning and for Security Measures

Duowei News reported that, prior to the 19th National Congress, Beijing required that the streets, especially in Tiananmen Square must be cleaned and the dust level must be kept at less than 5 kilograms anywhere a person sits. It has also increased its security measures, which include that no self-service is allowed in gas stations; highly dangerous chemicals must be reported; using a drone for commercial advertising and using firecrackers are banned; nearby factories, especially chemical plants, were ordered to shut down to ensure that blue skies could be seen during the conference.

Source: Duowei News, October 14, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2017-10-14/60017369.html

RFA: As Increased Security Measure, Facial Recognition Cameras Installed Prior to 19th National Congress

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that, as part of China’s increased security measures, Chinese authorities have installed facial recognition video cameras on street corners or in stores to monitor public activities. Manufactured in Shanghai and Hangzhou, the cameras are equipped with a resolution capability of tens to millions of pixels and can isolate individual faces and automatically enable their surveillance capabilities. The cameras were installed in major cities in China prior to the 19th National Congress. In Chongqing city alone, during the trial period of less than one month after the cameras were installed, over 40 suspects were arrested. The article also reported that, based on an internal document that RFA  obtained, the Chinese authorities have been collecting people’s online comments, income, and the frequency of their vacations in order to analyze their professional and financial situation so they could determine whether the individual belongs to a “target interest group.” A petitioner told RFA that, in order to ensure there would be no disruptions during the 19th National Congress, Beijing has tightened up security measures including more frequent inspections of people’s personal identification cards. The eating establishments for the businesses along Chang An street were ordered to shut down starting October 10.

Source: Radio Free Asia, October 13, 2017
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/meiti/ql2-10132017101022.html

Beijing’s Network of Informants

China’s Legal Evening News had a detailed report on Chaoyang Qun Zhong (朝阳群众), a well-known group of police’s informants in Chaoyang District in Beijing.

The Chinese netizens called the group the “world’s fifth ace intelligence organization.” It was formed many years ago. In 1974, informants from this group helped the police arrest six spies in Beijing.

Chaoyang District has about 3.84 million residents. The Chaoyang Qun Zhong group claims to have about 190,000 participants, with over 130,000 registered using their real names. The average number is about 277 per square kilometer. Active members are around 60,000. They provide over 20,000 tips to the police every month.

For example, the Huayanbeili West Neighborhood has 7,000 residents. Nearly 1,000 participate in the voluntary patrol or watch.

The Chaoyang District government pays these activists 300 to 500 yuan (US$50–$80) per month. If any volunteer has an accident during security duty, he can receive up to 1.2 million yuan (US$180,000) in insurance payments and several hundred thousand yuan in financial subsidies from the district’s security funds.

These informants are all over Beijing, totaling over 850,000 volunteers.

Source: Legal Evening News, September 22, 2017
http://dzb.fawan.com/html/2017-09/22/content_13072.htm

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