V. People's Armed Police Force
The People's Armed Police Force (PAPF) is charged with the fundamental task of safeguarding national security, maintaining social stability and ensuring that the people live and work in peace and contentment. It strives to make itself a powerful, disciplined and politically reliable force.
As a component of China's armed forces and subordinate to the State Council, the PAPF is under the dual leadership of the State Council and the CMC. The State Council exercises leadership over the PAPF through relevant functional departments, assigns routine tasks to it, decides its size and number of organizations, and is responsible for its command, operations, and financial and material support. The PAPF has an independent budgetary status in the financial expenditure of the state. The CMC is responsible for the PAPF's organizational structure, management of officers, command, training and political work. It exercises leadership over the PAPF through the four general headquarters/departments. In terms of conducting public security operations and relevant capability building, the PAPF General Headquarters is under the leadership and command of the Ministry of Public Security, and the PAPF units at and below the contingent level are under the leadership and command of the public security organs at the same level. The PAPF has a total force of 660,000.
The PAPF consists mainly of the internal security force and forces guarding gold mines, forests, water and electricity supply, and communications. The border security, firefighting and security guard forces are also components of the PAPF. The PAPF General Headquarters is the leading and commanding organ that directs and administers the internal security force and forces guarding gold mine, forest, water and electricity, and communications, etc., and provides guidance to other forces subordinate to the PAPF. Under it are the headquarters, political department and logistics department. The PAPF has one commander-in-chief, one first political commissar (assumed concurrently by the Minister of Public Security), one political commissar, and several deputy commanders-in-chief and deputy political commissars. The PAPF internal security force is composed of contingents at the level of the province (autonomous region or municipality directly under the central government) and armed police divisions. Contingents, detachments and squadrons are instituted at the province, prefecture, and county levels, respectively. The armed police divisions have regiments, battalions and companies in battle order, which are stationed in a number of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government. The forces guarding gold mines, forests, water and electricity supply, and communications have their own headquarters, which function as their leading and commanding organs. The PAPF General Headquarters has an educational institution directly under it. The contingent headquarters and the headquarters of the forces guarding gold mines, forests, water and electricity supply, and communications have elementary command colleges under them.
In peacetime, the PAPF is tasked to perform guard duties, handle emergencies, combat terrorism, and participate in and support national economic development. In wartime, it assists the PLA in defensive operations.
Every day, more than 260,000 PAPF servicemen are on guard duty. Through the combined use of manpower, facilities and technologies, the PAPF has effectively enhanced the efficiency of guard duties and security in recent years. The PAPF annually handles an average of over 100 cases of attempted attacks against guarded targets and escape attempts by detained suspects and imprisoned criminals, organizes thousands of important temporary duties, and ensures the security of important international and national conferences and large-scale events, in cooperation with the government departments concerned. Adhering to the guidelines and principles for handling emergencies, and using proper methods and tactics, the PAPF effectively safeguards the fundamental interests of the people, social stability and the dignity of the law. The PAPF anti-terrorism units closely follow the state's anti-terrorism guidelines and principles, and enhance their combat-readiness training. They have been involved in the successful handling of cases of bombing attempts and kidnapping incidents. The various units of the PAPF take an active part in efforts to keep local order, and assist the public security departments in catching and arresting criminal suspects and cracking down on organized criminal gangs.
The PAPF gold mine force has completed 38 geological prospecting projects in a dozen provinces and autonomous regions, and found some rich gold deposits. In the last two years, the PAPF forest force has put out 552 forest or prairie fires, protecting valuable natural resources. The PAPF water and electricity force has taken part in the construction of 21 key national projects, including the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the West-East Natural Gas Transmission Project, the South-North Water Diversion Project, and major hydropower projects. The PAPF communications force is responsible for the maintenance of the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway and the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, and has undertaken the construction of national high-grade highways, extra-long tunnels and bridges. Those projects built by the PAPF communications force are all up to standards. In the past two years, 224,000 PAPF troops have participated in 2,320 emergency rescue and disaster relief operations, and rescued and evacuated 250,000 people in disaster-stricken areas.
The PAPF is working to strengthen itself through science and technology. It is enhancing staff competence, and conducting strict management so that its personnel can fully perform their duties. Using the national information infrastructure, the PAPF has established a preliminary system of three-level integrated information networks, linking general headquarters with the grass-roots squadrons. It has made progress in real-time command and control, management of duties through visual means, networked education and training, and office automation. The PAPF possesses a basically complete range of equipment through R&D and procurement of urgently needed weaponry and equipment. It has set up and improved a distinctive mechanism for the selection, training and employment of officers and NCOs. In particular, priority is given to the training of inter-disciplinary personnel. The PAPF conducts mission-oriented training on a priority basis to better perform guard duties, manage emergencies and combat terrorism. It participated in China's "Great Wall-2003" and "Great Wall II" anti-terrorism exercises, and the SCO's "Joint-2003" exercise, and sponsored the "Guard-04" and "Guard-06" exercises to deal with large-scale emergencies. The PAPF runs its forces strictly and pursuant to the law. It stresses that leaders make decisions, administrative organs conduct management, and officers and men perform their duties strictly in accordance with the law. As a result, its overall performance has been greatly boosted.
The PAPF is steadily improving its logistical support system based on self-support and supplemented by social and PLA support to raise the efficiency of integrated support. It runs a crisis response support system covering the three echelons of the general headquarters, contingents (divisions) and detachments (regiments), to better respond to emergencies, and unexpected and complex situations. It promotes standardized and institutional logistical management by exploitation of IT and uniformly standardizes its facility configurations, work procedures, operating mechanisms and management requirements. The PAPF is pursuing reforms in housing, procurement of bulk materials and project procurement, medical care, and outsources food, barracks and bedding and clothing services.
In recent years, the PAPF has conducted friendly exchanges with the armed police forces, military police, internal security forces, public security forces and other similar forces of more than 30 countries to draw on each other's practices and cooperate in conducting anti-terrorism training. Its medical personnel, as part of Chinese rescue teams, have participated in disaster-relief missions in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia, and the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.