The Chinese government faces a turbulent time of domestic unrest and challenges from “hostile Western forces” that it will fight with more sophisticated controls, a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) law-and-order official said.
Chen Jiping (陳冀平), deputy secretary-general of the CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee, gave the toughly worded warning in this week’s issue of Outlook Weekly, and blamed Western democratic countries for fomenting unrest.
He did not mention the protests that have rocked authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and his words reflect the CCP’s own homegrown fears.
However, the uprisings that deposed long-ruling former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and are now threatening Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi are likely to reinforce the views of Chinese security officials like Chen.
“The schemes of some hostile Western forces attempting to -Western and split us are intensifying, and they are waving the banner of defending rights to meddle in domestic conflicts and maliciously create all kinds of incidents,” Chen told the magazine, which is published by Xinhua news agency.
“Mass incidents continue at a high rate,” Chen said, using the party’s euphemism for protests, riots, strikes and mass petitions.
“Our country is in a period of magnified conflicts within the populace, high crime rates and complex struggle against foes, and these features are most unlikely to change any time soon,” he said.
The magazine reached subscribers yesterday.
To counter such worries, Chinese leaders have promoted more of the stringent security steps that they brandished over the weekend, when police snuffed out feeble attempts to emulate the “Jasmine Revolution” street protests that have bloomed across the Middle East.
Chen said the government was honing policies to defuse and smother unrest and crime. Those policies include more monitoring of citizens to nip threats in the bud.
“That will include comprehensive roll-out of a social stability risk assessment system that -covers major projects and policies that have a direct bearing on public interests,” he said. “Before decisions are made, there’ll be a double assessment — of their economic outcome and risks to social stability.”
The Party Political and Legal Affairs Committee that Chen helps run oversees the courts, police and prosecutors. Chen is also a senior official of an office that develops and enforces anti-crime and domestic security policies.
Even most dissidents and other critics of China’s one-party rule see scant prospect of serious challenges to it soon. Police regularly detain or confine dissidents at sensitive times.