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In China, a President's Attempt to Disarm Challengers

Mar 22, 2016 | 09:16 GMT
China's armed police perform a counterterrorism exercise, one of their crucial functions as an auxiliary armed force.
(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The People's Liberation Army is in the middle of its most sweeping reforms to date, so it is no surprise that the paramilitary police force would undergo changes of its own. Yet the People's Armed Police reforms are less about making the force function better and more about Xi preparing to crack down on political adversaries ahead of the 19th Party Congress in 2017. The proposed reforms would concentrate China's remaining armed forces in the hands of Xi, disarming anyone from the Party bureaucracy or local governments who could challenge his rule. If the reforms occur, the question will be whether the armed police, under more singular management, will still be as responsive to domestic unrest. ...

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