President Jiang Zemin has tried to reassert authority over the People's Armed Police. At a meeting of the Communist Party committee of the paramilitary police yesterday, senior PAP officers pledged to 'seriously study and implement' Mr Jiang's teachings about 'paying more attention to politics'. The slogan is generally taken to mean being obedient to the party central authorities with Mr Jiang as its core. PAP leaders, including their Commander, General Yang Guoping , undertook to strengthen the education and management of senior and mid-ranking officers. Mr Jiang, also Chairman of the Central Military Commission, is the titular head of the armed police. However, his influence in the PAP suffered a blow when a key protege, General Ba Zhongtan , was forced to resign as commander earlier this year. General Ba, a member of the so-called Shanghai Faction, was blamed for lax management which resulted in a young PAP guard murdering a vice-chairman of the National People's Congress, Li Peiyao , in February. Moreover, the planned expansion of the PAP from about one million to 1.5 million officers was temporarily stopped. Military observers pointed out that Mr Jiang had wanted the PAP to become a force with special loyalty to himself. The analysts said, however, that after the General Ba debacle, Mr Jiang had clawed back some territory by transferring several Shanghai officers to PAP headquarters. Meanwhile, national meetings on the work of security guards in the army, the PAP, and the police were also held in Beijing yesterday. Ren Jianxin, , the head of the party's highest security organ, the Political and Legal Affairs Commission, called upon the guards of different units to 'tighten their security procedures'. Western diplomats said the military and police forces had recently witnessed a series of embarrassing security incidents. These included failure to adequately protect state leaders and leakages of 'state secrets'. Mr Jiang also met participants in the security conferences. A key Jiang aide, Zeng Qinghong , who is head of the party's General Office, took part in the conclaves, an indication that he is playing a bigger role in security matters.