The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has recently made cuts to the number of local police stations in China despite increasing social unrest.
China observers believe that this was done to address the crisis of shrinking local government revenue caused by the decline of China’s economy, as well as a signal of looming regime collapse similar to that of the former Eastern Bloc of European communist states in 1989.
Meizhou Daily, a local media in the city of Meizhou in Guangdong Province, reported on Nov. 10 that the Meizhou Municipal Public Security Bureau had announced the closure of Wuzhou and Dongshan police stations. The official reason given was to "effectively integrate existing police resources."
Two weeks ago, the public security bureaus of Qingdao, Yantai, and Weifang in Shandong Province also announced plans to "dismantle and consolidate" local police stations. The Qingdao Public Security Bureau mentioned in an official announcement that starting from Oct. 23, nine police stations would be merged with nine others.
Currently, China's economy continues to decline, the real estate market is sluggish, and local government debts are at record highs.
"They can’t even pay salaries, the finances are unsustainable, and many local governments are going bankrupt," said Lai Jianping, a former lawyer in mainland China. "In fact, they are already in bankruptcy. There is no other way. It doesn’t matter whether they are auxiliary police or not. It doesn’t matter which departments, they are laying off people, cutting positions and salaries. It’s really hard to sustain."
Cheng Chin-mo, associate professor and head of the Department of Diplomacy and International Relations at Tamkang University in Taiwan, told The Epoch Times: "The debts of local governments lead to salary cuts for civil servants. In order to survive, these local governments are plundering and ripping ordinary people off everywhere, including increasing fines. They are resorting to whatever means to scrape money. This will actually cause great social unrest."
Mr. Lai said: "When social conflicts intensify, they abolish these stability maintenance agencies or reduce their salaries and benefits. It will affect their morale for maintaining stability and be extremely detrimental to the maintenance of their rule.
"If the finances could still support and maintain it, they would not get to this point, especially not to weaken the departments such as the police, prosecutors, and even the auxiliary police and security."
Mr. Cheng said: "This is part of the economic collapse in China. This is the beginning of the collapse of the Chinese Communist regime. Because next, we will see a lot of social unrest and chaos, coupled with the very high youth unemployment rate. In this case, I think this is accelerating the fall of the CCP."
Mr. Lai said that "these people who have been laid off may fight back."
Sign of CollapseRegarding the CCP’s massive reduction of its police force, Mr. Cheng said: “Through research, especially from the collapse of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern European countries at that time, this is part of the disintegration of the entire social order.
"Historically, the former Soviet Union and later the former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe—such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania—were all like this. Later, these unemployed civil servants, especially the police and even soldiers who were laid off, all joined the people and demonstrated against the regimes, which soon led to their collapse.
"I guess even the military will be downsized next. These people were organized and trained, and they will become an anti-government organizational force in the future."