People's Armed Police

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Political Commissar:Senior General Yu Linxiang(喻林祥上将)
(Since November 2007)

The People's Armed Police Force (Abbreviation: PAP or CAPF; simplified Chinese: 中国人民武装警察部队; traditional Chinese: 中國人民武裝警察部隊; pinyin: Zhōngguó Rénmín Wǔzhuāng Jǐngchá Bùduì) is a paramilitary or gendarmerie force primarily responsible for civilian policing and fire rescue duties in the People's Republic of China, as well as provide support to PLA during wartime.

In contrast to public security police, PAP servicemen, also called as "Armed Policemen (武警战士)", wear olive green instead of the blue uniforms of the Public Security Police (People's Police). From January 1, 2005 to July 31, 2007 the position had been renamed 'internal guard' (内卫) with arm insignia reflecting this change; new uniforms issued on August 1, 2007 carried to term for "China Armed Police Force" (中国武警).

The PAP is estimated to have a total strength of 1.5 million, with over half its strength (800,000) employed in its internal security units (Simplified Chinese: 内卫部队; pinyin: nèiwèi bùduì).



The history of the People's Armed Police is as long as that of the People's Republic, and its origin can be traced back to the People's Liberation Army, which was responsible for both defending the nation from foreign invasions and internal security. Although the force was officially established in 1982, its constituent units stretch back to 1949.[1] After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, it was soon apparent that the different troops were required for the vastly different missions, and the domestic security functions had to be removed from the People's Liberation Army. As a result, the portion of People's Liberation Army responsible for internal security and other domestic police missions branched out to form the Public Security Army, under the administration of the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China. Although under the Ministry of Public Security, the Public Security Army troops were not exactly public security police officers because in addition to regular police work, they were also tasked with secondary military tasks which was not part of the responsibility of regular police officers of the public security ministry.

After numerous name changes and reorganization, the PAP was created on June 19, 1982 by an amalgamation of the PLA's border control, internal security units (domestic 'internal guard' or 內卫), and fire department, as well as from Ministry of Public Security units.


The PAP's primary mission is internal security. The first law on the People's Armed Police, the Law on the People's Armed Police Force (PAPF), was passed in August 2009, giving it statutory authority to respond to riots, terrorist attacks or other emergencies.[2][3] Such units guard government buildings at all levels (including party and state organisations, foreign embassies and consulates), provide personal protection to senior government officials, provide security functions to public corporations and major public events. Some units perform guard duty in civilian prisons and provide executioners for the state. The PAP also maintains tactical counter-terrorism (CT) units in the Immediate Action Unit (IAU), Snow Wolf Commando Unit (SWCU) and various Special Police Units (SPU).

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