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People's Armed Police

The Chinese People's Armed Police Force was set up in April 1983 and was made up of PLA forces on domestic defense duty and the armed, frontier defense and fire-fighting police, which carry out a military service system. It was an armed defense force for social security, which undertakes police duties. The armed police force follows the rules and regulations of the PLA and enjoys equal treatment with PLA troops.

The armed police force headquarters falls under the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Security. It also has headquarters in various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, under which there are detachments, groups and squadrons.

The People's Armed Police, one of the PRC's three Armed Forces, numbering 1.1 million plus, has military and security missions. The Armed Police was divided into the following in accordance with the nature of missions and T/O: security guards, defense for borders, fire teams, traffic, public utility, gold, woods and mobile division. In a peaceful time, it was responsible for the interior security in coordination with the public security units, the national-level construction works, and guards. At wartime, it was under military command to carry out missions such as battlefield security, anti-infiltration, and coast guards.

The armed police force undertakes the tasks of avoiding and curbing through the use of arms acts of sabotage, defending social security and protecting national security, life and property according to the needs of public security work and in compliance with the law, government rules and regulations and other administrative laws and regulations.

Since "the Democratic Movement June, 4 1989 in Tianmen Square," the status and importance of the People's Armed Police have seen rapidly elevated. The CCP's Central Military Committee has made public that in case there was any domestic upheaval, the People's Armed Police will be first mobilized. In other words, the Armed Police was PRC's main force in charge of the domestic security and social stability.

There are two chains of Command for People's Armed Police. The Armed Police was simultaneously under the command of the CCP's Central Military Committee and the State Council. Since the issuance of "the SOP of the PRC's Armed Police GHOs" in June 1996, the People's Armed Police GHOs has been upgraded to a great military-region level. And over the last two years, it was time and again found that 14 PLA field divisions were restructured into the People's Armed Police. Furthermore, there was a tendency that the command system of the People's Armed Police was going to be transferred from under the Ministry of Interior to the military system, and its military function was beefed up.

The PRC's Armed Police with a mixed function between the military police and the police of the democratic countries, was equipped with the light weapons. In recent years, its forces have been beefed up with the wheel armored vehicles, command vehicles, and patrol cars, etc. Besides, the air patrol units like the fly boat and helicopter units have been activated with the capabilities in the field of the mobile and long-range disposition. Its contingencies have capabilities better than those of the public security police in general. Some of the GHO-level units of the Armed Police are given the PLA's military training and exercise, functioning as the main force of the domestic public security.

Most of the armed police corps in provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have created comprehensive combat command systems integrating the use of computers and telecommunications technology. The upgraded command systems can enhance communications between tens of thousands of duty posts nationwide, and among armed police corps in municipalities and provinces with their Beijing-based headquarters. Advanced armored carriers, multi-functional refueling trucks, field water-supply vehicles, and other kinds of equipment have also helped enhance the combat capability of the armed police.

In a move to enhance the Communist Party of China's management of the country's armed forces, Beijing on 21 March 2018 announced the complete withdrawal of civilian-oriented, firefighting and frontier defense troops from the People's Armed Police Force. The withdrawal of armed police force units engaged in civilian affairs would disentangle the previous complicated chain of command, Chinese military analysts said.

Troops that were formerly part of the armed police and managed by institutes of the State Council have now officially withdrawn from this system in a bid to fully implement the Party's absolute leadership over the People's Liberation Army, and other national armed forces, according to an article published by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Such reforms were being carried out alongside ongoing reforms of the Party, State institutions and the military, Li Daguang, a professor at the National Defense University in Beijing told the Global Times.

The reform followed command of China's armed police being transferred in December 2017 from the State Council to the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission (CMC). The armed police force units were withdrawn from armed police registration and placed under the management of local administrations including public security and emergency response regulators.

Maritime police forces, that used to be under the leadership of State Oceanic Administration, started to serve their duties as armed police forces. armed police forces that previously answered to civil-related duties including gold, forestry and hydropower troops were transferred to State institutions accordingly while no longer in army service. Responsible forces with the country's customs are now part of the armed police.

Such reform could significantly correct misnaming errors and stressed the absolute leadership of the Party over its armed forces including the armed police.

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