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First armed police law set to pass
Updated: 2009-08-25 13:16

Armed police are set to get legal backing to help them handle riots.

The legislature is expected to pass the country's first law on armed police on Thursday to make that possible.

"The security forces are facing increasingly complicated situations, especially after the July 5 riot in Xinjiang, which makes the adoption of such a law urgent," said Li Wei, director of the center for counter-terrorism studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

The coming Oct 1 festivities will put pressure on the police, he said.

The revised draft of the armed police law was submitted to the top legislature for a second reading yesterday, four months after its first review.

It makes clear that the armed police would be responsible for handling public security incidents such as "riots, unrest, large-scale violent crimes and terrorist attacks".

The first draft only stated the team helps handle "public security incidents and terrorist attacks".

The change is being made following suggestions from the local and central departments, said Liu Xirong, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Law Committee.

"The armed police played a key role in handling the Lhasa riot last year and the riot in Xinjiang last month.

"Based on that experience, we'd better make clear their responsibility in similar incidents," Liu said.

While ordinary police mainly deal with crime, armed police are a paramilitary force that shoulders heavier security duties, primarily responsible for the security of important places such as central government buildings, embassies and major public facilities.

First armed police law set to pass

First armed police law set to passBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op'Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily's Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.