The Common Program of the People's Republic of China 1949-1954


The new authorities have two important tasks in 1949, first to consolidate military control in all regions and second to obtain political control. In the Common Program, four articles are dealing with public security. Article 7 deals with the suppression of counterrevolutionaries. Article 23 describes the importance of a people’s militia to maintain local order. Article 17 abolishes all oppressive laws of the GMD. The fourth is Article 18 which deals with the combat against corruption.
To coordinate all these required actions, the Central Political Juridical Commission is founded, it controls the Public Security Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Justice Ministry. Members of this commission are Dong Biwu, Luo Ruiqing, Kang Sheng, and Peng Zhen. The commission did not control the internal intelligence and security section. The Secretariat of the CCP controls this section and has five departments: Organization, Espionage, Counterespionage, Intelligence, and Training. The task of the police is divided into 2 duties, one secret, the other public. The secret task involves counter-espionage, infiltration, and checking the loyalty of CCP cadres.


"In reviewing the police or security work during the year 1950, Lo Jui-ching, Minister of Public Security, reported that during the first 10 months of 1950, 664 special service cases and 9 cases of international espionage had been unearthed, and 13,812 special agents had been arrested in the whole country, and that a large number of these agents had been severely suppressed."
The open task is based upon laws and directives; however, it also involves the prevention of anti-communist movements and the suppression of counterrevolutionaries. The distinction between these 2 tasks is arbitrary. After the
census
of 1953, the results of the census are used to control and organize the people. Each family has a census book, in which names, sex, occupation, family status, political background, and personal contacts are registered. Public security committees compromised of 3 to 11 members of the CCP, control "All those who had served for the Nationalist Government, Kuomintang members, correspondents, lawyers, doctors, and the so-called rich land owners would be classified as special census and are to be visited a few times a day."
"A regulation from 1952 mentions the existence of a complete network of police stations and substations in the Northern Chinese Administrative Region.118 Most of the small, Japanese-style ‘police boxes’ at the neighborhood level were expanded into precinct police stations which also performed some of the civil administrative duties of the former demarchs and phylarchs.119" The shortage of trained cadres compels the administration to employ former GMD officers (about 50% to 60%), the rest are former PLA soldiers. A division of 10. 000 military police are dispatched to each province.
Kuiken (1992) remarks "So the Chinese Communists, to compensate the insufficiency of the police system during the early 1950s, set up auxiliary security systems of three different models: civilian Japanese-style neighborhood groups in those few major cities where the Japanese occupation had left an adequate infrastructure; paramilitary Jiangxi-style militias under PLA control in the countryside; and permanent vigilante groups to replace the different ad hoc campaign organizations elsewhere." The militias, together with the military police, were the main enforcers of public security during the several campaigns between 1949-1952.
Kuiken (1992) concludes "Although the Communist police apparat was in name a separate organization, it was in practice subordinated to the PLA. Furthermore, the majority of the armed police forces consisted of former regular PLA troops. The outcome was a very violent garrison-style police regime without a detailed legal fundament. It only subsided after the armistice in Korea in 1953."
Nathan (1997) observes that the CCP bureaucracy effectively exerted its political control over the Ministry of Public Security and did not become a police state "In a police state, the political police become a separate organization, more powerful than the regular police, the military, or the party organization. They operate without legal restriction, serve as the primary pillar of the regime, and have direct access to the leader.... China had no similar organization. The Party never lost political control over the Ministry of Public Security, and its minister never ranked among the top figures of the regime."

See for further information on army Chapter 3

1954 Poster A tribute to the Chinese People's Liberation Army that defends the nation's borders


Wei (1955). Page 29 [↩] [Cite]
Kuiken (1992). Page 33 [↩] [Cite]
Kuiken (1992). Page 35 [↩] [Cite]
Kuiken (1992). Page 39 [↩] [Cite]
Nathan (1997). Page 45 [↩] [Cite]

Chapter 1 of Common Program