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Command of Armed Police Force to be unified

(China Daily)    07:39, December 28, 2017

The Armed Police Force will be placed under the unified control of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Central Military Commission starting on Monday, the first day of 2018, according to the CPC Central Committee.

The decision, published on Wednesday night, stipulated that under the new command chain, Armed Police Force units will take orders directly from the force's headquarters, which, likewise, will follow directives from the Central Military Commission. It made clear that the Armed Police will be included in the Central Military Commission system and will no longer take orders from the State Council.

It also said that central and local Party organs as well as government departments at various levels will establish a new mechanism to ask for assistance from the Armed Police and to cooperate with the paramilitary force.

The decision requests that government bodies, the People's Liberation Army and the Armed Police join hands to make sure the transfer will be smooth and orderly.

Under the current laws governing the Armed Police Force and the national defense system, the force takes instructions from both the State Council and the Central Military Commission.

On Nov 4, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, decided to suspend several clauses in the two laws that pertain to the Armed Police Force's command chain, responsibilities and deployment as of Nov 5, saying amendments to these clauses will be made when reform measures prove successful.

In an editorial published on Wednesday by People's Daily, the Party's flagship newspaper, the move was called "a significant political decision … that will strengthen the Party's absolute command over the PLA and other branches of the people's armed forces and will ensure the stability and prosperity of the Party and the nation."

The newspaper said the transfer was aimed to honor the stipulation in the Constitution that the Central Military Commission chairman leads and assumes responsibility over all of the nation's armed forces and will resolve institutional obstacles and major difficulties that hinder the Armed Police Force's development.

The history of the Armed Police can be traced to 1949, the year the People's Republic of China was founded, when its predecessor — the Chinese People's Public Security Central Column — was set up to take charge of internal security. In the following decades, the force's name and affiliation was changed, but most of the time it was administered by the Central Military Commission.

In 1982, some PLA units responsible for domestic security were merged with police forces in charge of border defense and firefighting to form a new Armed Police Force. At that time, the Central Military Commission and State Council began to share its administration.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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