Police chiefs train in run-up to congress

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2012, 12:00am


About 1,400 newly appointed county-level police chiefs are in Beijing for a month of training courses on preserving stability, in the sensitive lead-up to the 18th Communist Party Congress in the autumn.

The courses began on June 26, and State Councillor Meng Jianzhu has urged the law enforcement officers taking part to increase security, in an effort to create a 'harmonious and stable' social environment for the congress, according to a speech he gave last Tuesday. The transcript was posted on the Ministry of Public Security's website.

Through lectures given by experts in political science, law, public administration and economics, the police chiefs will be taught how to better improve law enforcement operations, as well as how to deal with public opinions expressed online and how to make relations between police and the public more harmonious, The Beijing News reported yesterday.

Interactive sessions with ministerial-level officials and other experts would also discuss case studies with the police chiefs, the newspaper reported. 'The scale of such training is unprecedented,' the paper quoted an unidentified Ministry of Public Security official as saying.

Smaller courses have been held since 2009, resulting in about 3,500 county- and city-level police chiefs receiving similar training. About 2,500 senior officials at provincial-level public security bureaus have also received the training. The current courses are directed at new chiefs who have never attended such courses.

Analysts said the move came amid rising conflicts between the public and governments at local levels, as economic expansion into the country's remote areas has created new social problems, such as protests in response to forced demolitions, and environmental concerns, among others.

Wang Jiaqian, police chief of the Qiandongnan autonomous prefecture in Guizhou province, told the newspaper he sometimes found himself torn between development and stability maintenance.

'We have to implement plans for establishing an industrial zone, but we're also faced with mounting public pressure in opposition of demolitions,' he said.

Professor Hu Xingdou, a political analyst with the Beijing Institute of Technology, said the training came as the political situation worsened at local levels.