The armed forces train in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Friday. Photo: IC
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday ordered the armed police force to uphold the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and to resolutely follow the CPC's instructions and fully implement the CPC's thought on building a strong army in the new era.
Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks at a ceremony by the CMC to confer a flag on the armed police force. At the ceremony, Xi presented the flag to Commander Wang Ning and Political Commissar Zhu Shengling of the armed police, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Xi stressed the significance of placing the armed police under the unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC.
The adjustment in the leadership and command system of the armed police force is "an important political decision" the CPC Central Committee made to fully realize the absolute leadership of the Party over all armed forces and to develop "a socialist military system with Chinese characteristics," Xi was quoted by Xinhua as saying.
"The move has vital and profound effect on building a strong military for the new era and modernizing the country's system and capacity for governance," he said.
According to a statement by the CPC Central Committee released late last month, the armed police force would be put under the command of the CPC Central Committee and CMC from January 1 and would no longer be under the authority of the State Council.
Stating that the armed police force is an important part of the people's armed forces led by the CPC, Xi said the armed police force bears major responsibility for safeguarding national security and social stability, as well as protecting people's lives.
"The armed police force plays an important role in safeguarding political security, especially the security of the political power and system," Xi said.
Xi asked the armed police force to accelerate its integration into the joint combat system of the armed forces, enhance reform and innovation, and strive to build a strong and modern armed police force.
The armed police force must focus on real combat training and readiness for war, remain on high alert as always, and better deal with emergencies and terrorism.
Xi also stressed the importance of discipline, demanding increased efforts to contain corruption and purify the political ecology of the armed police force.
The CMC decision to confer the flag on the armed police force was read by CMC Vice Chairman Xu Qiliang, and the ceremony was presided over by CMC Vice Chairman Zhang Youxia.
The move aims to prompt the armed police force to fulfill its missions and tasks in the new era, and to be the eternal loyal guardian of the CPC and the Chinese people, Chinese Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Wu Qian said at a special press conference for the event on Wednesday, according to the ministry website.
Wu continued by explaining the significance of the flag design, saying that the upper part of the armed police force flag remains the same as the PLA military flag, which is widely known as the "Bayi Flag" - indicating that the armed police force shares the same red blood as other people's armed forces under the CPC leadership and is an integral part of a whole.
Three olive green stripes on the bottom half represent the force's three major duties and tasks, namely, safeguarding the country's political security and social stability, protecting the country's rights and enforcing laws at sea, and defense combat, Wu noted.
Part of a whole
According to the PLA Daily website 81.cn on Thursday, on July 18, 1955, the Ministry of National Defense directed the original predecessor body of the Chinese People's Armed Police Force, the "Chinese people's public security forces," to become one of the five PLA military services, standing side by side with the Chinese PLA Army, Navy, Air Force and Air Defense Force.
And on June 19, 1982, the CPC Central Committee decided to establish the Chinese People's Armed Police Force, combining the Chinese PLA forces that were in charge of internal security with compulsory servicemen who serve as the armed police, border defense, and firefighting forces.
This marks the armed police forces becoming one component part of China's armed forces, but it has never had its own military flag until the flag presentation ceremony on Wednesday.