Jiang Zemin

Conclave acts against crime

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 August, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 August, 1996, 12:00am

Generals attending the annual top-level conference in the northern China resort of Beidaihe have recommended tough tactics to deal with social instability.

And the leadership has decided that the Strike Hard campaign against hard-core crime will be carried on 'indefinitely'.

Law and order, in addition to the economic situation, top the agenda of the informal session on state policy, which was convened on Thursday.

Chinese sources said it was the first time the secretive conclave, due to end early next week, was attended by so many members of the top brass.

Apart from representatives from the Central Military Commission, several commanders of military regions and the People's Armed Police were called in to give advice on how to combat socio-political instability.

The sources said the generals and cadres in charge of security suggested beefing up the para-military and police apparatus.

Emphasis was put on the formation of a rapid-response corps to crack down on criminal gangs and to deal with sudden outbreaks of disorder.

Police and other security organs have already issued instructions saying the Strike Hard campaign, which began in April, would in practice be implemented 'indefinitely'.

One reason for the growing signs of unrest was the worsening standard of living of workers laid-off by state-owned factories.

A source close to the meeting said the leadership would probably succumb to the lobbying of regional 'warlords' and further boost loans and emergency aids to areas with large numbers of loss-making enterprises.

Politburo members and their advisers would also make a decision on when to further lower the interest rate.

A few senior mainland members of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Preparatory Committee are due to give a report on latest developments on transition matters.

It is understood regional cadres attending the conference will be asked not to 'stretch their hands too deeply' into the SAR.

This is the first time that Hong Kong figures prominently at the Beidaihe conference.

The conclave will also finalise a document on building up 'spiritual civilisation', which is expected to stress patriotism and obedience to the leadership with President Jiang Zemin as its core.