Strategic Analysis

Strategic Analysis:
A Monthly Journal of the IDSA

March 2001 (Vol. XXIV No. 12)


China's Internal Defence Strategy: Problems and Prospects
By Swaran Singh *



Defence of the ruling regime has always been the core of China's vision of national defence, making Internal Defence the most critical component of China's national security thinking and practice. This mind set was further reinforced by the fact that the Communist Party of China had liberated China from another national regime, the Guomintang, making them further suspicious of internal threats and challenges. The fact that China did not face any external enemies between late 1930s and early 1950s, and that it has not faced any external enemy since 1979 has only further circumscribed their preoccupation with internal threats to the safety and welfare of the national regime though their vision of Internal Defence has since expanded to include other components of national existence. In this, China's experiments in social engineering-like Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen Square and Deng's Economic Reforms-have created new challenges to China's internal peace and stability. It is against this backdrop that this paper examines how over the years China has evolved its Internal Defence strategy and forces which has increasingly come to be a major subject of debate amongst the strategic circles focusing on China's national security issues. 1

Considering that the Communist Revolution in China had originally evolved with a view to replacing the nationalist regime of Guomintang, their fear of subversion from internal dissidents like the old bourgeoisie, counter-revolutionaries and revisionists has constituted the most critical mass of their national security thinking during these past 50 years. Right from its inception, therefore, internal defence does not only constitute the most integral, but also the most dominant component of the national security strategies of People's Republic of China (PRC). Accordingly, the foremost task for the communist militia in all its incarnations has been to ensure the security and welfare of their Communist Party leaders who continue to be the torch-bearers of China's communist revolution. As a result, this task of internal defence was never to be subordinated to any auxiliary agencies but considered as the foremost task for China's military leadership that has always remained in direct control of China's police and paramilitary forces and its internal defence operations. It is the Central Military (CMC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that represents the apex of China's military structure and remains directly in charge of internal defence strategy.

Secondly, thanks to the sustained external linkages of China's internal unrest all these years, these internal contingencies have always attracted more attention from China's leaders than could ever be expressed in their public pronunciations. Right from the days of American support for the Guomintang regime, external powers have since found many more linkages with China's internal dissident movements and this is especially true of dissidence from regions like Tibet and Xinjiang. In addition to this, these dissident movements have since evolved many new linkages in China's neighbourhood which include countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Central Asian Republics, though Chinese often see big powers like the United States operating behind all these apparent linkages. Besides, China's preoccupation with internal defence has also been reinforced by their own experiments like the Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen Square, Economic Reforms all of which have played a decisive role in intensifying China's anxieties about its internal problems. Especially, the dissidents from China's Tiananmen Square crisis of June 1989 have since spread around the world and found far greater visibility than support for their cause. Given the fact that China's charismatic leaders were able to carry on these experiments full-steam irrespective of their outcome being positive or negative, the resultant social engineering has always had a lasting and extensive impact making reversals each time a difficult exercise even in the long run.

In more recent times, this preoccupation with internal defence has been further reinforced by the post-Cold War trends since early 1990s. increasing trends of ethno-nationalism and easy access to information and other technologies and weapons have made insurgencies far more violent and threatening while the human rights campaigns have since further circumscribed the state from employing its full sovereign power in dealing with this kind of violence within. This period has also witnessed such trends in China's neighbourhood becoming powerful in states like Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics. All this has since increased China's anxieties about this long-standing unrest amongst China's minorities becoming uncontrollable and exploited by its adversary powers as it plays the delicate role of the aspirant great power for the coming years. And finally, with no inter-state war fought during the last three decades, since the Vietnam War of 1979, China's strategic focus has gradually come round to its internal defence contingencies and other crises around its immediate borders. As a result, expanding from its main concerns about ensuring the "safety and welfare" of its Party leadership that was expected to guide the communist revolution, "defending state sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and security" have come to be the prime concern for China's national defence. 2 It is in this ever expanding profile of China's internal defence that this paper tries to outline the emerging new challenges to their existing defence thinking and apparatus and to examine the present and potential of China's internal defence strategies in the coming years.

Broad Trends Over Last 50 Years

Broadly speaking, these last 50 years have seen PRC change from being a revolutionary state to what increasingly appears to becoming a status quo power showing signs of supporting the dominant models and patterns of behaviour. The same has also been true of its internal defence strategies which are no longer evolved to deal with the so-called enemies of the communist revolution but regular criminals, corrupt officials and violent dissidents that either enjoy the protection of the political power or seek a share in political power. Apparently, China has no internal threat that today seeks to undo their communist revolution, nor is China planning to obliterate capitalism and establish itself as the alternate paradigm. In a more specific manner, like other major powers, China's national security thinking that had originated around providing protection for its revolutionary leaders has since expanded to include all other components of nation-state profile including population, territory and its other valuable assets, like its urban and industrial centers. China's internal defence thinking has accordingly become a far more intensive as well as extensive exercise for its military and political leadership as also for experts. To cite some of the most visible trends in China's internal defence over these last five decades one could include the following major shifts:

Firstly, going by the historical evolution of PRC's national security thinking, the most important objective of China's communist militias since their inception during 1920s was to ensure the safety and welfare of its Party leadership that was expected to guide their revolution and liberate China from the Guomintang regime. And considering that it is these communist militias that had liberated China from another internal nationalist regime, dealing with possible threats of internal subversion has always been the most critical responsibility of China's armed forces. Indeed, apart from their contributions in their joint front against the Japanese during 1930s, it was not until 1953 that China's armed forces were directly involved in fighting an inter-state war with an external enemy. This was also the only war where Chinese military operations had been clearly successful and popular in their public expressions. Though these original objectives have continued to guide China's national security thinking yet, safety and welfare of a whole lot of other elements of its nation-state profile, like population, territory and other economic and cultural assets, have since come to be integral to their vision of national defence thus expanding the arena of their Internal Defence strategy which has to attend to a whole variety of new assets against a whole new variety of new threats.

Secondly, in terms of their recent experience and memories that guide China's current policy priorities regarding national defence, the Chinese armed forces have not experienced any inter-state war during the last thirty years. This means that a whole generation of China's military has never been exposed to an experience of dealing with external threats to their national defence. Also, given the fact that during that last war with Vietnam during 1979 the Chinese military had to accept a retreat without victory makes that war a sensitive issue thus taking it away from the domain of their popular public debates on national defence. Even their experience during the Sino-Soviet skirmishes of 1969 was not worth projecting in such national debates and the last military operation which China felt proud of was their involvement against the United States in the Korea War of early 1950s. This lack of victory during their military operations during the last two wars and absence of war during the last three decades has gradually turned their focus towards threats from inside. Taiwan has been one such subject which is projected as China's internal affair yet, given its unique status and the special linkages with external powers like the United States, the Taiwan question is not the subject which can be understood strictly within the framework of China's internal defence; neither have Chinese security strategies accepted it as part of China's Internal Defence contingencies.

Thirdly, the most fundamental change in China's internal defence has been the transformation in its very faultlines, the basic determinants of which have been completely transformed during this period under Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms. The focus of China's Internal Defence, during this period, had clearly shifted from external to internal determinants. Broadly speaking, while the initial period of internal chaos during the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution was seen as the creation of outside powers who wanted to undo China's communist revolution, the new challenges to China's Internal Defence since mid-1980s have all evolved out of China's economic reforms which were still to evolve their strong global network. The internal unrest since this period has not been guided by any ideological irreconcilable differences, but on the basis of distribution of resources as also the perceived deprivation that had not evolved any decisive external linkages for a very long time. Accordingly, being neither ideological nor linked to external containment under the old framework, none of the old instruments of ideological slogans or charisma were of any effect on these new contingencies for which new apparatus and thinking had to be recast and rebuilt. This process has become all the more complicated during these last twenty years as China's economic boom which has created its own new demands and pressure points on what still remains essentially a centrally controlled policy juxtaposed with a fast decentralising economy. These new faultlines and their new expressions have since been goading China to recast its internal defence strategy.

Fourthly, during this more recent period since the end of the Cold War era, China has not only not experienced any external threat, but is left with no imminent external threat for its future. This has again facilitated diversion of its attention to threats from internal faultlines. In fact, China had officially admitted to this shift way back during June 1985 when the enlarged session of China's Central Military Commission had concluded that China no longer felt threatened by any "early, total, nuclear war" for the rest of the 20th century. The focus was, therefore, sought to be shifted to China's internal contingencies and limited local wars. Two factors have particularly endorsed such thinking since that time. Firstly, end of the Cold War since early 1990s was followed by the rise of smaller threats from terrorism, insurgencies, ethno-nationalism which had developed strong linkages with Western campaigns on human rights, making China extremely sensitive to its minorities seeking secession or autonomy from Beijing. Secondly, in China's own periphery, as Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, China's long involvement with anti-Soviet Mujahideen has since backfired with Afghan groups providing strong linkages to China's Muslim unrest with international jehad. Besides, the creation of five new Central Asian Republics broadly on the basis of their ethnic identities across China's borders have also revived their hopes and aspirations as also had their spillover effect on China's internal unrest. This has since witnessed internal unrest becoming increasingly uncontrollable forcing China to increase its own dose of state violence and making internal defence uncontrollable by conventional strategies.

And finally, in more recent years of China's economic slowdown followed by the East Asian financial crisis and reforms in China's State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), the allure of economic boom and hope for quick results have begun to lose their charm in containing grievances of various sections of Chinese society, especially economically deprived sections and minorities. To look at a few indicators since the later half of 1990s, China's foreign direct investment (the locomotive of its economic boom) has slid from $111 billion for 1993 to under $40 billion for 1999, its foreign trade has slid from $325 billion for 1997 to $316 billion for 1999, its foreign exchange reserves have hovered around $150 billion and moved from $145 billion for 1997 to $155 billion for 1999 and China remains the third largest debtor and its foreign debt alone stood at 140 billion as of December 1997. Similarly, its unemployment has been estimated from 5 to 15 million people and about 110 million people seem to be floating at a given time from rural to urban centers for better job opportunities. While China is saturated in its exploitation of fast rewarding opportunities, unemployment in this society of full-employment and State ownership of resources has since come to be the major challenge to its conventional internal defence strategies.

Perennial Concerns: Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region

China's Xinjiang region has been one of the major flash-points and, in more recent times this region had witnessed major anti-China uprisings during 1933, 1944 and 1949, all in the name of setting up what has been referred to as the Republic of East Turkestan. The Qing Dynasty had annexed this region in 1759 and given it the name of Xinjiang (New Dominion) though successive Chinese rulers had "never directly controlled its new province because of the dearth of Han Chinese available to govern this land." 3 The Uighur Muslims trace their first independent state to 744 AD. They claim to have repeatedly protected weak Chinese kingdoms, though they always had prickly ties with the Chinese empires. According to them, over the years the two sides had come to an understanding of allowing native Muslims to independently rule by themselves under the supervision of Chinese representatives as long as they continued to owe allegiance to the Chinese Emperor. Given the volatile history of this region, upon liberating mainland China in 1949, Mao had kept this issue in abeyance while he was busy with unification of Tibet. And it was only during 1955 that Mao declared this region as China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) granting it special concessions in terms of religious and cultural freedoms. Over the years, however, Uighurs and other Muslims have continued to nurse their grievances against issues like re-settlement of Han Chinese, Turkish not being allowed in higher education and other restrictions in their mosque building and child bearing. The Uighurs, as a result, have continued to raise their sporadic rebellions and their unrest and resistance has never actually completely disappeared during these last 50 years. 4

At first look, China's XUAR comprises 530,000 of landmass that constitutes one-sixth of the entire mainland landmass which remains home for much of China's hydrocarbon and other mineral resources as also houses China's nuclear facilities including its nuclear test site at Lop Nor. Nevertheless, it has a population of only 15 million and has remained extremely backward in terms of various indices of social development. But what makes it critical to China's internal defence is the fact that it is the home of the majority of China's total population of 18 million Muslims. XUAR's Uighur Muslims alone constitute 7.2 million according to China's census for 1990. The Huis who constitute the second largest Muslim community number 682,000 and have historically played the buffer between Uighurs and Hans with the latter having increased their strength in XUAR from a mere 250,000 in 1949 to over 6 million by 1990. 5 As Huis have been spread around the whole of China and have completely merged themselves with the Hans, Uighurs often view them with suspicion which has created fissures within China's Muslims thus weakening their movement. Besides, the Muslims in China also have their historical linkages across the current Chinese borders which has had both its positive and negative implications. In XUAR alone, there are over 1.1 million nomadic Kazakhs, and because they have their kin in Central Asia's largest country, Kazakhstan, they have been playing a strong political role in XUAR. Similarly, XUAR has a nomadic Khyrgyz population of about 141, 000 who have kin in Kyrgyzstan and they only add to the influence of China's Kazakhs as they remain culturally and linguistically related to Kazakhs. XUAR also has a small number of Uzbeks (14,500) who have linkages with politically powerful Uzbekistan and it is only China's 33,5000 Tajiks who remain distantly related to Tajikistan. Simply, by providing an example and also by strengthening their historical linkages by other means, the formation of these Central Asian Republics broadly on the basis of their religious identities has revived Muslim unrest in Xinjiang. 6

In terms of containing and resolving these perennial problems of Muslim unrest the Chinese had traditionally tried to treat this as their internal law and order problem. Also, China has tried with its population transfer policies by bringing in Han population into XUAR. According to a 1990 census, XUAR had about six million Han and according to experts they have since become the largest single ethnic group surpassing the Uighur which was the largest earlier. 7 But, this has had more negative than positive implications and has further helped these Muslims to sustain their Sunni Islamic traditions of fiercely defending their independence thereby complicating all chances of resolving China's internal defence challenges in this region. As a result, starting from early 1980s, China has been following a more liberal and pragmatic approach to religious and cultural affairs amongst its 18 million Muslims. Besides, beginning from early 1980s, Beijing has also evolved a new "go west" policy approach where it has begun to divert foreign direct investment and other infrastructure development initiatives towards these less developed regions. China has since tried to forge a special relationship with the Central Asian Republics as part of its solution. They have established a Shanghai Five forum that has not only successfully resolved much of their inter-state problems but also ensured that these Central Asian Republics do not encourage or provide any support to China's Muslim dissidents. Encouraged by its past record, China has major plans to finding solutions to the continuing Afghan problem that has a direct linkage to China's internal Muslim unrest in Xinjiang.

Perennial Concerns: Tibet and its India-Connection

Apart from Tibet's continuing internal dissidence it is its India-connection, that remains at the core of China's internal defence thinking in its Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). To briefly recall the evolution of this linkage, the Tibetans, apart from being physically inaccessible, had historically preferred to shun all external contact. It was only in times of distress that they would turn to seek help from whosoever was friendly, powerful and willing. Their India connection, therefore, had survived for the following two reasons: One was that unlike both Russia and China, the favourable topography of the Indo-Tibetan frontiers had greatly facilitated regular Indo-Tibetan trade and commerce since ancient times. And two, that India was the birthplace of Lord Buddha. As a result, even during the 13th century, when Lamaism spread to Mongolia and Mongols assumed control over Protectorate of Lamaists Buddhism, they exercised their authority over Tibet through an Indian saint, Sakya Pandita. 8 By comparison, Tibetan ties with China were irregular and came much later. But, while Tibet's ties with India had always involved cultural and commercial interactions, their interactions with China were military and administrative. The first recorded instance when the Tibetans voluntarily invited China's military help was in 1724 when they invited the Chinese forces against the Mongols and, in 1728, they accepted Chinese Amban (Resident) and accepted China's protection. Soon the Chinese presence became too powerful to handle and in 1733, the Chinese put an end to the institution of Kingship combining both spiritual and temporal authority under the Dalai Lama. 9 The last time Chinese forces were voluntarily invited to Tibet was in 1790 to deal with aggression by the Gurkhali forces from Nepal since when the Chinese forces were never welcome in Tibet.

China may have experienced ups and downs during its presence inside Tibet, yet until the rise of the British and Russian empires in the 19th century, it had never felt threatened by any foreign presence in Tibet. This was partly because, by this time, the colonial onslaughts had made China weak and vulnerable. China not only lost its presence in Tibet, but Tibet became the buffer zone of the Anglo-Russian power projections and Britain used their Indian Empire to implement their vision. Therefore, in 1840, when King of Punjab and Ladakh, Raja Gulab Singh, sent his general Zorawar Singh to conquer Tibet there was no Chinese presence to be seen in Tibet. From the British Indian side, following the failure of George Bogle mission in 1774, the British tried to enter Tibet by using official permission from Peking which they obtained in their Chefoo Convention of 1876 at the end of the Opium Wars. But as Tibetans did not honour China's permission, this resulted in the famous Younghusband expedition of 1905 and followed by the treaties of 1904, 1906, 1908, Britain apparently became Tibet's de facto suzerain power. It was in 1910 that Chinese forces again entered Tibet, this time without invitation from the Dalai Lama who decided to take refuge in India. The crisis was resolved by the Chinese revolution of 1911 and taking advantage of the situation the Dalai Lama declared Tibet's independence in 1913. As always, no sooner had the new Republic re-asserted its claim over Tibet that the British offered to mediate and this resulted in the Simla Conference of 1913-14. Later, this British-India connection of Tibet was further strengthened when the British began arming the Tibetan resistance and, in 1920, Sir Charles Bell had signed an agreement to export to Tibet 10 mountain guns, 20 machine guns and 10,000 rifles with ammunition.

It was these British policies that were to later influence China's perceptions about Tibet's India-linkage. Accordingly, soon after the Communists came to power in Peking in October 1949 and "liberation" of Tibet became the top priority for Mao, the year 1950 was officially designated as the year for Tibet's liberation. The rest, of course, is well known how Chinese forces marched into Tibet in 1950 and independent India surrendered all its military and administrative presence in Tibet in a trade pact in April 1954. However, as China continued its social engineering, violent protests broke out inside Tibet and, in November 1956, when Dalai Lama visited India in connection with celebrations of Buddha Jayanthi he is reported to have asked Prime Minister Nehru if he could take asylum in India. Despite guarantees between the two Prime Ministers, Nehru and Zhou Enlai the Dalai Lama finally fled to India in March 1959. This was later followed by the India-China war of October 1962 that made China forever skeptical of India's intentions in Tibet.

As regards PRC's security concerns in Tibet, the geography and history of this region were to make Tibet Mao's most important security concern. Geographically speaking, Tibet largely constitutes a high plateau of nearly half-a-million square miles bound by the Kuen-Lun mountain range in the north and by the Himalayas in the south. Beijing's access to this soft-underbelly was very difficult and restricted to two routes: from Xinjiang from the northwest and Sichuan from the southwest. Conversely, the routes through India's Chumbi Valley and Tawang region were far more accessible and until the People's Republic of China (PRC) finally built its own highways in mid-1950s, the Chinese had often accessed Lhasa from these Indian routes. And the fact that India endorsed the McMahon Line was read as India pursuing the same British imperial policies and this made the Chinese very uncomfortable about Tibet's India connection. This suspicion about British India that had been the most influential factor in Tibet for nearly 100 years was further strengthened by what followed in terms of the Dalai Lama's asylum in India. This external linkage of Tibet has greatly complicated China's options. Moreover, the Anglo-American 'containment' policy had particularly fueled their suspicions about China's vulnerabilities if the "backdoor" of their mainland lay open for intervention. 10 As a result, Communist China's military takeover of Tibet was based on their strategic calculations and had absolutely nothing to do with either China's historical contacts or its ideological fervour. 11

During the first 25 years, Beijing spent most of its resources towards the development of strategic and military-oriented transport and communication facilities. This was also the period when China sorted out Tibet's borders with Burma, Nepal and Pakistan. A similar package deal with India could not happen as India insisted on recognition of the McMahon Line and, for China, it meant recognising Tibet's treaty-making powers that would jeopardise its military presence in Tibet. This was followed by the China-India war in October 1962 which made China all the more concerned about India's connection with TAR. China also spent this time in building four major strategic highways that not only linked Tibet to the rest of mainland China, but its northern and western highway complexes run almost parallel to its Himalayan borders at an average distance of about 35 km. Starting in 1955, China had completed 12 airfields in Tibet by 1963, once again all located next to their Himalayan frontiers. Most of these were used for carrying military personnel and other essential goods and for a long time, these air routes were not open for civilian traffic. During the late 1980s, PRC undertook a historic five-year experiment of flying 400 civilian aircraft sorties from various destinations in the mainland to Tibet airlifting PLA forces, and to support such heavy air traffic the runway at Gonggar airport was expanded, making it the largest in China. 12 As of today China has 23 airfields most of which are located next to either Tibet's borders with India or its other military and administrative centres. 13 To add to this China also began deploying its nuclear weapons in Tibet from 1971 and Tibet plateau today is suspected to have between three to five nuclear missile sites. 14 China also did not open Tibet for foreigners until late 1970s.

This is because China for long had continued to face dissidence at the highest level. According to a recently "discovered" 123-page petition that was submitted by the Panchen Lama to Prime Minister Zhou En-lai during the summer of 1962, the author had investigated and detailed China's brutal suppression of the 1959 Tibet rebellion. 15 As a result, until the early 1980s, Tibet continued to witness preponderance of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in its administrative set up and during this period, even the conservative estimates put PLA's presence in Tibet between 120,000 to 300,000 troops. China also sought to resolve the Tibet issue by their policy of Sinicisation of Tibet. China's strategy during this period was also primarily focused on the influx of Han Chinese population into Tibetan regions thereby altering the social and cultural balance of the Tibetan ethnic fabric. Thanks to the attention provided to it by Western powers during the 1990s, Tibet has once again emerged as a major issue in international debates. Though, mostly it has been used only as an instrument for anti-China human rights campaigns by Western powers yet, this has brought back the spotlight on Tibet, reviving debates about Tibet's future. And the Chinese have gradually improved their control over Tibet and have gradually moved from applying pure force to focusing on social development though Tibetans still continue to have problems with Beijing's social development models. Here again, China has adopted a mixture of carrot and stick policies and while it has focused attention on social development of Tibet it has continued to play tough in making any concessions in spheres of autonomy or self-governance and especially in dealing with the Dalai Lama and his government-in-exile. And going by their past record the passage of time seems to continuously reinforce Chinese control in Tibet.

New Faultlines for Future

Apart from these perennial problems as also these broad trends, the new transformation of China during these last two decades has since resulted in creating a series of more immediate challenges which have the potential for creating crises in case these are not attended to and resolved in time. These new faultlines may not appear to be very explosive at first glance yet, given the nature of China's evolution during these last 50 years, China does not seem fully prepared to deal with such contingencies and it will have to devise more sophisticated strategies and channels of expression to redress rather than suppress these issues. Therefore, depending exclusively on the framework of the law and order problem and on its instruments of state suppression its conventional approach to internal threats will only further aggravate the situation. Thus it is China's difficulties in containing the spread and implosion from these new issues while also working on long-term solutions that makes China's internal defence so threatening in its potential. Some of the more specific threats to China's internal defence come from the following activities and processes:

Uneven Regional Development-A recently published book, The Political Economy of Uneven Employment-A case of China, written jointly by Hu Angang of the Chinese Academy of Science and Wang Shaoguang, a professor at the Yale University, notes that the inter-provincial economic gap in China has been growing at a rather rapid pace. According to these authors, in 1978, only 15 provinces, municipalities or autonomous regions belonged to either the high (i.e. per capita GDP higher than 150 per cent of the national average) or low (i.e. per capita GAP lower than 75 per cent of national average) income groups, compared with 22 in 1994. In 1994 no province or autonomous region in western China had a per capita GDP higher than the national; while in east China the per capita GDP in all provinces with the exception of Hebei ranked higher than the national average. China's inter-provincial GDP gap is significant even by international averages. In 1994, Shanghai's per capita GAP was 14 times higher than that of Guizhou, far greater than the income gap between the poorest and richest provinces in most other countries. The figure for France was 2.15 in 1988, 1.43 for the United States in 1983, 4.0 for Indonesia in 1983 and 3.26 for India in 1980. Similarly, in terms of its rural-urban divide, while the average urban household income in China stands at above $3,000 per year the average rural household income stands less than $950 per year. 16 According to one 1997 report by the World Bank, China's income inequality ranked among the worst in the world. Reasons for this lie in rapid loosening of controls and preferential treatment for faster development. But this has also seen provinces and other sub-state actors becoming increasingly financially autonomous of Beijing and these growing income gaps can have grave political consequences in the long run. Already, regional conflicts have become frequent, threatening national unification and political stability that has since come to be Beijing's prime concern. 17

Regional Imbalance: East versus West-The most basic grievance which then finds a variety of expressions has been China's continued regional imbalance which has further complicated ground realities of China's minorities' continued unrest since centuries. Especially, China's Western Region 18 has been particularly neglected even during China's economic boom of the last twenty years. Western China accounts for 56 per cent of the country's land mass and 23 per cent of its population. According to China Almanac, for 1997, the income for farmers in the west averaged at $168 while it averaged at $362 for those in the east. 19 West China, which is the home for China's mineral and hydrocarbon resources, houses their nuclear facilities and nuclear test-site also houses over 80 per cent of China's minorities. But it remains land-locked and shares borders with countries that remain unstable both internally as also in their ties with Beijing. As a result, indices of its development actually show a negative growth during the 1990s. Its per capita income for example, has fallen from being 56 per cent to that of east China in 1983 to becoming just 40 per cent by 1999. And with 23 per cent of China's population, therefore, this region now accounts for only 13 per cent of China's consumer spending. 20 This situation has been created by the fact that Deng Xiaoping had chosen to go for a "get rich fast" policy which has resulted in confining China's economic boom to coastal cities. Similarly, of $300 billion FDI actually invested in China, its Western Region has received only 3 per cent of it while the bulk of this has been concentrated in China's coastal provinces. 21

Floating Population: Migration-Traditionally, Mao had perceived of a policy where all Chinese were tied down to their communes and mobility was not really a great strength of Chinese society. From there, China today has changed into a highly mobile society which has been partly forced by the inherent requirements of a rapidly growing industrial economy. But the Chinese institutions and polity have still to learn to deal with this new reality. Demographic estimates, for example, indicate China's urbanisation rate will reach 50 per cent by 2030, when China's total population is expected to stabilise at 1.6 billion. Factoring in such a calculation, approximately 15 to 16 million itinerant farm workers will annually head to the cities in the next 30 years. China's urbanisation rate now stands as low as 30 per cent, compared with the world average of 40 per cent. According to a sample survey by China's Development Research Centre, in Beijing's Haidian, Chaoyang and Fengtai districts, 110 primary schools were found teaching 20,000 children from the migrant families. Forced by the grave unemployment situation from the readjustment of the industrial structures of State-owned Enterprises, many big cities have been trying hard to control the inflow of farmers, mostly through economic and administrative means. 22 As a result, 5 million people leave Sichuan province alone every year to seek opportunities in these coastal cities. 23 This floating population has been particularly responsible for integrating China's deprived sections and exposing them to the rapid development and riches of the other parts of their country thus enlightening them of their deprived status.

SOE Reforms and Unemployment-Rapid reforms of China's State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and the resultant laying off of workers and unemployment has been another major subject of debates during more recent years. This has especially come to notice due to regular reports of riots and demonstrations that, at first look, appear completely alien to China's communist ethos. Across the country, these recently laid off demoralised and impoverished workers have been reported to be attacking their Communist Party managers and looting their own factories. 24 With China's rapid development during these last three decades and its increasing integration with the global market including its expected entry into the World Trade Organisation, China has been trying to restructure its economic institutions, industries and infrastructure to make it commensurate to global expectations. Pollution, for example, has lately come to be one major issue that has affected the close down of various industries. This reflects the changing profile of economic priorities. According to figures provided by China's State Economic and Trade Commission, by the first half of the year 2000, China had closed down 36,000 badly maintained and illegal coal mines which is expected to reduce this year's production by 302 million tons as also dislocate large numbers of its beneficiaries. Similarly, by June this year, China has closed down 5,600 oil refineries for their faulty and environment damaging practices. 25 These SOEs have also been the main culprit for China's unemployment trends. China officially admits that as on June 2000, they still had 11.2 million laid-off workers from its SOEs as unemployed. Of these 5 million had been laid off from SOEs during 1999 alone. 26 Though many of these have also been rehabilitated yet, these new trends are beginning to create their own pressure points for China's domestic peace.

Drug Trafficking and its By-products-Apart from the flaws in China's developmental strategies and initiatives leading to imbalances and side-effects, some of these trends have also actually encouraged criminal activities as means of making fast money. Thanks to the external linkages of these activities, they have also become difficult to control and begun to threaten China's domestic peace. The external linkages of China's internal unrest have since brought in difficulties of expanding drug-trafficking, spread of small arms, money laundering and AIDs epidemic which had all evolved as by-products of China's internal unrest. To quote from the speech by China's Vice Minister for Public Security, Zhao Yongji, delivered at the national conference in Shenzhen in January 2000, "If effective measures are not adopted, the illegal activity poses a threat to social stability. Last year, 2,011 cases of smuggling involving drugs, guns and other goods valued at 680 million yuan ($82 million) were uncovered by border police, ninety-one military weapons were seized along China's southwestern borders and more than 1,600 kilograms heroin seized and 2,027 arrested during 1999. 27 According to China National Narcotics Control Commission, the number of 'registered' drug addicts in China itself stands at 682,000 for 1999. 28 AIDS, which does not appear a national security problem at first glance has also since developed a threatening profile by its sheer rapid spread in certain sensitive regions like Yunnan and Xinjiang. This happens to be another problem closely linked to drug-trafficking. In China, AIDS has been spreading especially around its border with Myanmar and from there moving to its major cities obtaining for China the notoriety of being the fourth largest in Asia and the 17th largest HIV carrier in the world. In Asia only Thailand, India, Myanmar have been counted as ahead of it. At a function organised to kick off China's AIDS Alert campaign during December 1999, Vice Minister for Health, Yin, Dakui, confirmed that by September 1999, China had accounted for 15,088 HIV positive cases of which Yunnan province alone accounted for nearly 60 per cent of this figure. According to outside experts, however, these HIV carriers in China have been shooting up from 10,000 in 1993, 30,000 in 1994, 100,000 in 1995, 300,000 in 1998 and 500,000 in 1999. 29 Other Chinese experts put the figure as likely to hit upto 1 million by year 2000. 30 This prediction is based on the argument that, like all other countries, there will be time of rapid increase in the numbers of HIV carriers following a preliminary period of slow spread and that China seems now in this second phase already.

Overreaction to Corruption and Crime-Though China has since allowed ten political parties to exist and express their opinions, China continues to be very sensitive to any expression of dissidence, of any kind. Especially, following their experience of student demonstrations at the Tiananmen Square during May-June 1989, Chinese leadership has become increasingly skeptical of any gatherings or associations. Their hard-handed treatment of the religious group, Falun Gong, has been one such example in more recent years. Going by the fact that Chinese history's bloodiest rebellions, the Boxer Rebellion and the Taiping Rebellion, had both begun with a charismatic religious figure preaching on non-political issues, explains China's over-reaction to Falun Gong during recent times. Falun Gong, which was founded by one Li Hongzhi in 1992 has gathered millions of followers over these years and to indicate their commitment to this sect, over 1,500 are believed to have died by refusing medical help which seems to be at the core of their preaching. 31 Starting from their get together sessions from the historic day of China's 50th anniversary celebrations on October 1, 2000 at Tiananmen Square, Chinese authorities have acted tough and sent thousands of their followers to labour camps for "education and reform through labour." 32 In fact, Ammesty International has already documented 190 executions of Falun Gong followers during January 1997 to March 1999, with thousands of others having been detained. 33 Similarly, corruption is another issue that has gradually come to be a hyper issue for the political elite. Recently, in August 2000, China heavily publicised the death sentence handed down to a former vice-chairman of the National People's Congress, Cheng Keijie for accepting bribes worth $4.9 million. 34 Similarly, China's mayor and party secretary, Chen Xitong, had also been sentenced to death for accepting bribes during 1997. While all these things may not portend any immediate national crisis yet, in the longer-run these must be seen as symptoms of a deeper malaise in China's management of its Internal Defence.

China's Response to New Challenges

All this partly explains how internal defence had absolutely no independent profile during Mao's period. It is only from the era of economic reforms and four modernisations under Deng Xiaoping that China's internal defence thinking has gradually evolved its own contours and content which shows some sinews of obtaining it an autonomous profile. And these trends have only been further strengthened during the third generation leadership under Jiang Zemin. This is primarily because, beginning from early 1980s, the very basic determinants of China's internal defence have transformed making all those old prescriptions ineffective in resolving these new situations. And it is in the process of thinking afresh that China's internal defence strategies have begun to evolve their autonomous profile. No doubt, experts have repeatedly alluded to China's Tiananmen Square crisis of 1989-kicked off primarily by price rise since the mid-1980s-as the most critical turning point in the evolution of China's internal defence thinking and apparatus. 35 The same has also been the period from when China's internal defence has evolved its new military apparatus and new strategic doctrines which still continue to evolve and very often their official expression generally lags behind their actual implementation.

Emerging New Military Apparatus

The most visible indicator of China's changing focus in internal defence lies in the historic shift in the nature of its internal defence contingencies and responses that have witnessed the People's Liberation Army (PLA) being downsized from 6 to 7 million at the time of liberation during 1949 to 2.3 million by 2000. By comparison, the police and para-military forces have been modernising, mushrooming and expanding all the time to take newer, bigger and more autonomous profiles. Especially, the People's Armed Police (PAP), the single largest of China's para-military forces, was created during 1983 and has since increased its strength from 0.5 million to over 1.2 million by 1996. 36 Since then many more police and para-military forces have also been put in place and their total is today estimated to have reached upto 2.5 million thus making them bigger than the PLA that was once known to be the king-makers. 37 Officially, this shift has been explained as streamlining the PLA and many of the officers and men in PAP have been ex-PLA men. Accordingly, the PAP has continued to be fully controlled by PLA generals though it has begun to evolve its separate organisational profile and has already begun to be discussed as a parallel center of power. Some even see motives in it, by arguing that this split has been deliberately planned by China's third generation leadership which, being non-military themselves, have had their difficulties in dealing with PLA cadres.

The period of the early 1980s witnessed Chinese leaders recasting their new internal security apparatus. This was primarily guided by their new thinking of separating China's internal defence contingencies and its national defence and, therefore, creating a buffer between China's increasing urban unrest and the PLA, that China's leaders had created the PAP by amalgamating a large number of the PLA units involved in internal defence duties. Similarly, a new Ministry of State Security was created in 1983 and put in charge of counter-espionage and intelligence gathering exercises. Another Public Security Police was created under the Ministry of Public Security which again comprised several sub-units like criminal police, traffic police, household registration police, patrol police, fire brigades and so on. Similarly, railroad police under Ministry of Railways and the public security police under Ministry of Justice and judicial police under the Supreme People's Court were also set up and new linkages and responsibilities were evolved to ensure their coordination. Another Entry and Exit Border Defence Inspection General Unit was created by the Ministry of Public Security in June 1998. Some of the older organisations also continued to serve and some of them gradually became dysfunctional without being either disbanded or closed. This was especially true of China's intelligence and enforcement agencies. 38 Also, of all these police and para-military forces the PAP has been growing most rapidly both in its numbers as also in its power profile.

In terms of its organisational profile, the PAP comprises primarily the PLA soldiers either directly transferred or recruited after their being relieved from service. But the PAP has also been recruiting new cadres which is what obtains for it an increasingly autonomous vision and culture though many of these new recruits continue to hold only lower positions. More so, this growing independence has resulted from its gradually increasing financial autonomy from the PLA. Until the mid-1980s, the PAP as also these other police and para-military forces used to be financially dependent on their administrative authorities i.e. the PLA, or the CMC or the State Council. Strong participation and hold of PLA in all these decision-making bodies had allowed them to exercise complete control on how the national budget was spent on ensuring the security of the nation. But from the mid-1980s, the PAP received its funds from three different sources: the central government, the local governments and its business operations. 39 Especially, following the Tiananmen Square crisis of June 1989, their poor performance resulted in a major shake-up of its leadership. General Ba Zhongtan, the PAP commander then, had resigned on pretext of age (he was 65) and so did the political commissar, Zhang Shutian, and many other important officials also resigned. Major General Zhou Yushu, who was in-charge of Beijing based 24 Group Army of the PLA was appointed as the new commander of the PAP and Major General Xu Shouzneg (then director of Beijing MR) as the new political commissar of the PAP. 40 But at the same time, the PAP in particular and most other police and para-military forces in general, also became the most critical component in CMC's new found zeal for exercising direct control over China's internal defence strategies and force planning and these forces were soon to be refurbished and provided with better equipment and other facilities. Since then the PAP has also been involved in regular regimental and unit-level field exercises, long-distance deployments, night manoeuvers, and other types of sophisticated simulated combat operations just like the PLA forces. 41 During 1992, the CMC had authorised the PAP for the deployment of a military airship for surveillance and this airship had already been inducted by the year 1995. 42 Nevertheless, according to the PAP, the PLA assumes the operational command of the PAP during the period of national crisis or war-time.

Devising New Strategies for Internal Defence

To put it at the very outset, despite these apparent and material changes in their force structures, equipment and training manuals, the official expressions of China's internal defence strategies have continued to swear by old expressions of the earlier leadership. Especially, the PAP, which constitutes the most visible force dealing with internal defence, has continued to play cautious and has not shown any overt enthusiasm in outlining their internal defence strategy as different from that of the PLA forces. However, going by above empirical trends in their equipment modernisation force structures and training etc as also following the trends in China's internal debates on these issues, experts have outlined three major objectives that seem to guide China's current internal defence strategies. These include: (a) guaranteeing the absolute leadership of the Communist Party; (b) safeguarding national security and maintaining social stability; and (c) ensuring that the PLA does not have to be repeatedly called in to deal with China's internal defence contingencies. Apparently, this appears very similar to the doctrinal expression of the PLA, but one has to begin reading between the lines and match these words with their actual initiatives to plot some broad trends. To quote the PAP's political commissar, Zu Yangqing:

Right now, we are at a historic juncture when one century is about to give way to another. On the whole, the international situation is easing off, but peace is not breaking out all over the world. Hostile forces in the West have never given up their political schemes to "Westernise" and "divide" China. The domestic situation is good overall, but there are also destablising elements. All this puts additional demands on the PAP's sacred mission of safeguarding national security and socialist stability." 43

But there are also practical difficulties why the new ethos of the PAP still finds it difficult to break out from its parent organisation, the PLA which still continue to determine the broad contours in the new thinking evolved within PAP's internal defence perimeters. This is so because not only does the leadership of the PAP still continue to be provided by the PLA, but a large number of soldiers also continue to come from that force which continues to control PAP in its operational terms. Moreover, even when some sinews of fresh thinking may be emerging within the PAP leadership, the PAP has often behaved just like the PLA, especially when it comes to brass-tacks in turning their new thinking into training programmes and actual combat missions. Besides, this may also be due to the fact that given PLA's suspicions about the new political leaders and their intentions to rein the PLA, other agencies have to tread cautiously lest they begin to be seen as trying to cut into PLA's main bastion. But going by their actual operations these limitations of the PAP appear more natural and inherent than deliberate. During one of their largest independent exercises in Xinjiang in 1995, for example, the PAP troops standing on a hill had assembled 11 sets of 82 mm non-recoil artillery and mortars, and bombarded a target platform occupied by "criminals" which was a very military approach to a war-like situation. 44 This is despite the fact that PLA's January 1996 regulations on use of weapons to deter illegal and criminal activities clearly prescribe that all such missions must "avoid injury to citizens and damage of property." 45

All the police and para-military forces, especially the PAP, have also to perennially maintain a balance between their autonomy and their subordination to the PLA operations. As they are only expected to operate as a buffer between more regular internal defence contingencies and the PLA they have to keep training themselves to support the PLA as and when PLA takes over the command to deal with crises of internal defence. In PLA's so-called "high-tech regional warfare" operations, which remain focused primarily on dealing with internal defence contingencies, the PAP as also police and para-military organisations have been visualised as a critical component in PLA's military operations. The PAP, indeed, regularly participate in PLA's military exercises in such missions which have greatly influenced PAP's own methodologies in dealing with internal defence. Besides, such methodologies are also the result of PAP's continued dependence on PLA's transport and communications networks as also other facilities which it shares with the PLA in such joint exercises. With the rising tide of unrest during the 1990s, the PAP thinking seems to very much emulate the original PLA thesis of (a) using force and (b) ensuring the safety of the Party elite in the ultimate case.

Nevertheless, President Jiang Zemin, has since tried to turn the focus of ID doctrines towards the maintenance of social stability and asked PAP to provide top priority to promptly stamp out any "sudden incidents" of urban unrest that may flare up at any given time. 46 Therefore, the police and para-military forces have basically come to be the Party's first line of defence against any form of urban popular protests and they are expected to operate as a critical buffer between the PLA and civil unrest. 47 This can, of course, only control and contain internal defence contingencies, but China still has to work towards finding lasting solutions to its internal defence problems. Despite major initiatives in this direction, China's grievances redressal remains the weakest link in its Internal Defence strategies and apparatus.

Grievances Redressal Mechanisms

Recent years have witnessed China working on more sophisticated methods like expanding access to information about its new development initiatives undertaken in China's backward regions and regarding grievances of various groups. Of the most visible of such initiatives is the Office for Western Development set up under the State Council. This is headed by Minister of State Development and Planning Commission which is expected to publish a document on preferential policies for investment in western China before the end of this year. 48 In conformity with such a shift in its list of priorities China has since launched its "go west" strategy which has sought to divert foreign direct investment towards these backward regions. Endorsing this new strategy in his work report to the National People's Congress, Premier Zhu Rongji had outlined a whole series of such plans of infrastructure projects in western China. In December 1999, the State Development Bank had earmarked funds to provide loans worth $50 billion for various projects to build railways, hydro-power stations, oil and natural gas fields and other infrastructure projects in China's west. Similarly, the state also plans to contribute $0.6 billion towards revamping of 20 airports, eight highways and 3,000 km railways in this region. 49 Provinces and autonomous regions within China have also been encouraged to build linkages with western China and to invest in various projects in that region. Guangdong, for example, which remains energy deficient has bought power worth $0.5 billion from western grids and it has directly invested about $0.3 billion in various power grid projects in that region. With Guizhou alone it has signed agreements to buy 2 million kilowatts of power by 2003 and about 4 kilowatts by 2004 and it is on this assured market that Guizhou has begun to expand its power generation capacity from the current 5.25 million kilowatt to 8.3 million kilowatt during the next five years. 50 Similarly, in June 2000, China initiated a new $2.8 billion construction project for a new 945 km railway line that will run through Anhui, Henan, Hebei, Shaanxi and shorten the distance between China's east and west. This is expected to be ready by 2004. 51

Similarly, China has recently published a whole series of white papers on issues like Tibet, Taiwan, drug-trafficking and national defence in general and publicised them both outside and within. The Information Office of China's State Council had recently issued their second White Paper on Tibet titled New Progress in Human Rights in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. According to this document, the Tibetans constitute about 95 per cent of the total population of China's Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). It explains how during the last 40 years (1953-1993), the total population of TAR has nearly doubled, from under 1 million to 2.3 million. By 1996, the population of TAR had reached 2.44 million. It also details various special measures that have been taken and funds provided in ensuring the preservation of Tibet's special culture and religious practices. According to it, at present, TAR has 1,787 sites for Buddhist religious activities and over 46,380 Buddhists monks and nuns in monasteries and all Tibetans enjoy religious freedom.

Similarly, China has published another major White Paper on Drug Trafficking in June 2000 and another White Paper on National Defence was released in October 2000. Despite their limited credibility with the outside world and question marks on the many facts and figures, such repeated publicity has had definite acceptance in many quarters. According to the White Paper on Drug Trafficking, the number of drug addicts registered with the public security organs in 1991 was 148,000, a figure that rose to 520,000 in 1995 and to 680,000 in 1999 with drug addicts currently making up 0.054 per cent of China's total population. Of China's expanding numbers of AIDS patients, 72.4 per cent get infected through intravenous drug injections. 52 This is clearly reminiscent of China's Opium War and the threat of AIDS and also linkages with spread of small arms and money laundering make the problem far more complicated. China had set up a National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC) in 1990 which coordinated activities between the State Council's 25 departments including Ministry of Public Security which, during 1998, had established a specialised Drug Control Bureau, that operates as an agency of the NNCC. Meanwhile, the other Public Security organs like People's Armed Police, judicial departments, Customs, pharmaceutical control agencies and administration departments for industry and commerce as also anti-drug policy squads in all the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities and cities have been geared up for anti-drug law enforcement tasks. In fact in 1998, the State Council had set up a China Narcotics Control Foundation to raise funds for its drug control projects. China has enacted and revised a whole series of legislations in this respect as also revamped its anti-drug campaigns. China has also expanded its bilateral and regional cooperation with neighbouring countries and United Nations' Drug Program (UNDCP).

Simultaneously, China has also increased its publicity of dealing with crime and corruption in high places. This is expected to generate popular support and trust for the current leadership and its policies. Under China's Criminal Law, for example, trafficking in more than the 50 grams of heroin, or more than 1 kg of opium is sufficient to administer death penalty on the guilty. 53 It has also been publicising death sentences for corrupt party leaders to project high standards in public life that has had its own contribution in enhancing the stature of the current leadership and its policies. Nevertheless, China still remains far from having resolved its internal defence problems and very often the increasing publicity and violence levels of internal unrest have to be matched by official publications and violent suppression which further distorts China's image. Especially between the relatively invisible mass unrest and the very visible State and that to the rising aspirant state of China, the policy makers have to cautiously tread the path between continuing to evolve grievance redressal mechanisms while also seeking lasting solutions to both the long-standing and newer challenges to their internal defence. And it is in this precarious balancing act, that external linkages of these internal movements often create major pressure points by providing them greater visibility and strength to survive both the carrot and stick of the Chinese internal defence strategies and apparatus.


China continues to face a whole lot of inherent and new internal defence challenges which have their external linkages and as a consequence, these challenges continue to grow as China evolves itself as the next global power. Also, given the fact that China is not known to have any system of checks and balances to its power, either from within or outside, it is this internal unrest that has often been seen as the only way of containing China's unbridled behaviour. Among many other motives, this often provides a convincing rationale to most external linkages of China's internal unrest which keeps its internal challenges alive despite China's ever rising power and profile. Besides, the rapid pace of China's modernisation has itself created new faultlines for which it has to evolve commensurate new institutions and regulations. Apart from these external linkages of its problems of internal defence, China also continues to have a set of its inherent internal dynamics that continue to put up additional hurdles. These include its traditional ethos which continues to block any rapid shifts in its thinking and initiatives. But going by its track record in handling internal problems there seems very little likelihood of any of these challenges getting out of hand. The worst that one can predict is that its internal circumstances and motivated external actors might again force China to undergo a round of suppression which surely remains its weapon of last resort to ensure it's survival as a nation. The current state of China's forces and doctrines show all signs of being in a position to re-enact Tiananmen Square type of suppression in case the need arises again.


Note *: Associate Professor, JNU Back.

Note 1: Though China regards Taiwan as its renegade province this paper does not include Taiwan whilst dealing with China's internal defence strategy. This is because Taiwan is a unique case and involves strong and obvious inter-state linkages and profile. Back

Note 2: China's National Defence in 2000, (Beijing: White Paper The Information Office of the State Council, October 16, 2000) printed in Summary of World Broadcast-Far East/3973, October 17, 2000, p. S1/1. Back

Note 3: Felix K. Cheng, "China's Central Asian Power and Problems", Orbis (New York), vol. 41, no. 3 (summer 1997), p. 406. Back

Note 4: Sultan Mahmut Kasgarli, "The Uighur Turks of Central Asia," Central Asia Monitor (London), no. 4, 1999, p. 29. Back

Note 5: Justin Ben-Adam, "China" in David Westerlund and Ingvar Svanberg (eds.), Islam Outside the Arab World, (London: Curzon Press, 1999), p. 191; also Dru Gladney, "The Muslim Face of China", Current History (Philadelphia, USA: September 1993), vol. 92, no. 575, p. 29. Back

Note 6: Ross H. Munro, "Central Asia and China", in Michael Mandlebaum (ed.), Central Asia and the World, (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press) 1989), pp. 224-226. Back

Note 7: Diane L. Smith, "Central Asia: A New Great Game?", (Department of Army, Defence Department, United States), <> also Lillian Craig Harris, "Xinjiang, Central Asia and the Implications for China's Policy in the Islamic World", China Quarterly (London), no. 133, March 1993, p. 9. Back

Note 8: Amar Jasbir Singh, "How the Tibetan Problem Influences China's Foreign Relations", China Report, vol. 28, no. 3 (New Delhi, 1992), p. 262. Back

Note 9: Ram Gopal, India-China-Tibet Triangle (Lucknow: Pustak Kendra, 1964), p. 5. Back

Note 10: Premen Addy, Tibet on the Imperial Chessboard, (New Delhi: Academic Publishers, 1984), p. 156. Back

Note 11: Dawa Norbu, "Chinese Strategic Thinking on Tibet and the Himalayan Region", Strategic Analysis, vol. xii, no. 4 (July 1988), p. 375. Back

Note 12: Stephen Bowers, "The Tibetan Resistance Movement", Jane's Intelligence Review, vol. 6, no. 6 (June 1994), p. 284. Back

Note 13: These are located at the following places: Kartse, Kantse, North Koko Nor, Lithang, Jekondo, Tachienlu, Nakchukha, Chamdo, Drachi-Dranang, Nyathang in the Eastern Tibet; Lhoka, Lhasa, Gyantse, Stigatse, Ghonkhor, Dzong in Central Tibet; and at Phari, Chusul, Tram, Gartok, Kassu and Thingri in Western Tibet. Back

Note 14: For details see, Nuclear Tibet, A Report by International Campaign for Tibet, (Washington, DC: 1993). Back

Note 15: Teresa Poole, "Lost Tibetan Text Exposes Chinese Brutality", The Korea Herald (Seoul), February 23, 1998, p. 8. Back

Note 16: John Bryan Starr, Understanding China, (London: Profile Books, 1998), p. 130. Back

Note 17: Xi Mi, "Narrowing Regional Gap", China Daily (Hong Kong), November 16, 1999, p. 4. Back

Note 18: This underdeveloped region of western China comprises 19 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities: Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang. Back

Note 19: Bian Yi, "Western Growth needs State Help," China Daily (Hong Kong), December 25, 1999, p. 4; also "Shao Zongwei, "Moslims Vow to Defend Unity", China Daily (Hong Kong), January 28, 2000, p. 1. Back

Note 20: Bruce Gilly, "Saving the West", Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong), vol. 163, no. 18, May 4, 2000, p. 22. Back

Note 21: Bruce Gilly, "Saving the West", Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong), vol. 163, no. 18, May 4, 2000, p. 23. Back

Note 22: Zheng Ying, "Quicken Urbanisation Pace", China Daily (Hong Kong), November 18, 1999, p. 4. Back

Note 23: Bruce Gilly, n. 21. Back

Note 24: Susan V. Lawrence, "China: Mercury Rising", Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong), vol. 163, no. 17, April 27, 2000, p. 26. Back

Note 25: Zhao Huanxin, "Nationwide Crackdown on Polluting Enterprises", China Daily (Hong Kong), September 5, 2000, p. 2. Back

Note 26: "Social Security System Unemployment Provisions Assessed", Summary of World Broadcasts-Far East Weekly/0662, dated October 18, 2000, p. WG/9. Back

Note 27: "Hit Harder at Border Crimes", China Daily (Hong Kong), January 24, 2000, p. 1. Back

Note 28: Meng Yan, "China Turns up the Heat on Illegal Drug Ice", China Daily (Hong Kong), September 9, 2000, p. 2. Back

Note 29: "New AIDS Campaign Kicks Off," China Daily (Hong Kong), December 2, 1999, p. 2; also Xing Zhigang, "Researchers Warn of Coming AIDS Crisis", China Daily (Hong Kong), September 7, 2000, p. 3. Back

Note 30: He Sheng, "Long Road Ahead in Fight against AIDS", China Daily (Hong Kong), August 21, 2000, p. 9. Back

Note 31: Susan V. Lawrence, "China: Faith and Fear", Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong), vol. 163, no. 16, April 20, 2000, pp. 16, 18. Back

Note 32: "Hong Kong Paper on Decision to send Falun Gong Members to Labour Camp", Summary of World Broadcast-Far East/3972, October 16, 2000, p. G/5. Back

Note 33: Erling Hoh, "China: Hear Our Prayer", Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong), vol. 163, no. 5, April 13, 2000, p. 24. Back

Note 34: "Death for NPC Official", China Daily (Hong Kong), August 1, 2000, p. 1. Back

Note 35: Tai Ming Cheung, "Guarding China's Domestic Frontline: The People's Armed Police and China's Stability", China Quarterly (London), no. 146, (June 1996), p. 527. Back

Note 36: "Of Numbers and Quality", China News Analysis, (Taipei, Taiwan), no. 1610, May 15, 1998, p. 7. Back

Note 37: Dongxiang Monthly (Hong Kong), no. 8, 1996, p. 19. Back

Note 38: Frederic Wakeman, Jr., "Models of Historical Change: The Chinese State and Society 1839-1989", in Kenneth Lieberthan et al (eds.), Perspectives on Modern China: Four Anniversaries, (London: M.E. Sharpe Inc. 1991), p. 90. Back

Note 39: The business operations, however, have come under scrutiny since August 1999. Back

Note 40: "Official's Murder by Paramilitary Guard 'isolated incident", Foreign Broadcast Information Service-China-96-044, March 4, 1996; also Eva Chen, "Military Cuts Increase Importance of Police in Mainland", Foreign Broadcast Information Service-China-97-258, September 15, 1997. Back

Note 41: Tai Ming Cheung, op.cit., p. 535. Back

Note 42: "Gaining Importance: The People's Armed Police," China News Analysis, (Taipei, Taiwan), no. 1610, May 15, 1998, p. 7. Back

Note 43: Xu Yongqing, "Guidance for Improving People's Armed Police," Foreign Broadcast Information Service-China-98-027, January 27, 1998. Back

Note 44: "Gaining Importance: The People's Armed Police", China News Analysis, no. 1610, May 15, 1998, p. 5. Back

Note 45: Ibid. Back

Note 46: Tai Ming Cheung, China Quarterly, p. 535. Back

Note 47: Michael D. Swaine, "The Military and Political Succession in China: Leadership, Institutions, Beliefs", Rand Paper R-425-AF, (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation), p. 127; also "Many Problems Still Plague the People's Armed Police Force," Inside Mainland China, vol. 20, no. 1, January 1998, p. 29. Back

Note 48: Xing Zhigang, "Investors Told: No Casinos in Western China," China Daily (Hong Kong), August 2, 2000, p. 1. Back

Note 49: Zhou Li, "Go West: Exploring a Vast Expanse", China Daily (Hong Kong), August 10, 2000, p. 10. Back

Note 50: Wang Rong, "Guangdong Turns on Western Power", China Daily (Hong Kong), August 4, 2000, p. 8. Back

Note 51: Zhang Feng, "US$2.8b Railway Project on Track", China Daily (Hong Kong), August 22, 2000, p. 2. Back

Note 52: Narcotics Control in China, (Beijing: The Information Office of the State Council, June 1999). Back

Note 53: Zhao Zongwei, Jia Hepeng and Wang Rong, "Ten are Executed for Trafficking in Drugs", China Daily (Hong Kong), June 27, 2000, p. 1. Back