Xinhua reports that, effective January 1, the People’s Armed Police (PAP) will be commanded by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Central Military Commission, the latest move in a long and far-reaching military reorganization that is giving the Chinese president extraordinary power over China’s armed forces.
- Up to now, PAP (武警 wǔjǐng) was controlled jointly by the State Council — the government — and the Central Military Commission. PAP is a paramilitary police force that handles outbreaks of unrest, terrorism, and other conflicts involving civilians.
- Now the government’s role is eliminated and the force is squarely under the authority of institutions chaired by Xi, who is both general secretary of the Party and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
- The threat of PAP being used to stage a coup is a factor that analysts told Agence France-Presse may have contributed to the decision. AFP also notes that a prior conspiracy by now-ousted rivals was rumored to involve military officials.
- More on Xi’s year-end political “bonuses”:
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