CHINA is ready to double the size of the People's Armed Police to help cope with growing social unrest. The five-year expansion plan will see the People's Armed Police grow to around two million officers. There are about 3.2 million in the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Since the June 4, 1989, pro-democracy crackdown, the People's Armed Police has grown from 600,000 officers to a million. Sources said Beijing, concerned about social unrest after Deng Xiaoping dies, decided to boost the strength of the paramilitary force in May. While there have long been fears of instability among dislocated workers, discontented peasants and dissidents, sources said the leadership was also concerned about a possible rift between old and young factions within the PLA after Mr Deng's death. Sources said the military has made it clear that the PLA will only be used for 'national defence', which means that it should not be used against internal disturbances. During the June 4 crackdown, 300,000 PLA troops were deployed, causing controversy within the Army. Both the PLA and the People's Armed Police are under the unified command of the Central Military Commission, which is chaired by President Jiang Zemin. It is believed Mr Jiang is building up the People's Armed Police as a counter-balance to the PLA. Owing to the simpler structure and 'factional balance' of the PLA, Mr Jiang has greater control over the People's Armed Police.