China Approves Law Governing Armed Police Force

A new law governing the People’s Armed Police has been approved, the New York Times reports:

The law is the first to explicitly govern the force, whose members serve as border guards, security details for government officials, firefighters and disaster-relief workers, but are best known outside China for their role in suppressing political and social unrest.

The troops will have authority in “handling rebellion, riots, large-scale serious criminal violence, terror attacks and other social safety incidents,” according to a summary of the new law published by the state-run Xinhua news agency before the measure was approved.

The legislation also apparently removes the authority of county-level local officials to summon the force to handle disorders. Ordinary Chinese have complained that the armed police are sometimes enlisted by low-level government officials to abusively bolster their powers, sometimes with excessive force.

See also a post on the law from Forgotten Archipelogoes.

August 27, 2009 12:17 PM
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Categories: Law, Politics