18th Party Congress

Beijing police put in place security measures in run-up to party congress

With more than 2,000 delegates coming to Beijing, officers set up interim office to manage measures to ensure 'social stability' before leadership meeting

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 August, 2012, 1:27pm

Beijing police have officially kicked off the security operation for the upcoming party congress, which will draw more than 2,000 representatives to the capital as the nation transitions to a new leadership.

The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau on Wednesday established temporary headquarters to manage security for the meeting, which is expected to be held in autumn.

Beijing police chief Fu Zhenghua vowed to take tough measures to ensure the congress went smoothly. He also pledged to fight corruption in the force.

"Beijing police must adopt an iron fist approach to ensure the discipline of the force," Fu said. "We have to improve our overall ability to combat crime in order to create a harmonious and stabile social environment for the successful convening of the 18th party congress."

Following the ceremony, top police officials met to discuss the plan to maintain force discipline.

No details have been given on the size of the security operation for the party congress, but 27,000 officers were deployed daily for the National People's Congress session in March.

Party elders and incumbent leaders have apparently ended their informal meetings at the seaside resort of Beidaihe .

Premier Wen Jiabao has travelled to Zhejiang province and President Hu Jintao is hosting visiting Costa Rican leader Laura Chinchilla.

The date for the opening of the congress remains unknown. Some reports say it has been scheduled for late next month, while others say it will be no earlier than late October.

Extraordinary efforts have been made by all pillars of the state to exhibit unity ahead of the party meeting.

The People's Liberation Army has repeatedly declared its loyalty to the party in recent months and pledged its dedication to ensuring a smooth convening of the congress.

General Guo Boxiong, the vice-chairman of the PLA's decision-making Central Military Commission, underscored the party's absolute leadership over the army and the troop's commitment to the party and President Hu.

During a recent visit to the Shenyang Military Region, Guo said: "We have to ensure troops are resolute in obeying the orders of the party and are absolutely loyal and reliable."

The army had to remain highly centralised and unified and ensure sea and air defences were safe and stable ahead of the party congress, he said.

Since the downfall of Bo Xilai , the ambitious former party chief of Chongqing , in March, top PLA officers have gone out of their way to pledge loyalty to the party.

The PLA has always played a crucial role during critical moments in the nation's history, including the arrest of members of the notorious Gang of Four after the death of Chairman Mao Zedong in 1976 and the crackdown on the student-led democracy movement in Tiananmen Square in 1989.