Deciphering sense of safety in China
Disciplinary agencies are required to punish any party members involved in gang crime.
China's government strives persistently to provide social stability and law and order as part of its efforts to improve people's wellbeing. But these are not easy things to achieve.[Photo: Xinhua]
China's government strives persistently to provide social stability and law and order as part of its efforts to improve people's wellbeing. But these are not easy things to achieve. China is a vast country with the largest population in the world. Due to rapid economic growth, its social structure has been changed in an unprecedented manner. New social stratum has emerged. And uncertainty triggered by the volatile situation in some of China's neighboring countries poses unique challenges to social governance.
Surveys show that the number of violent crimes in China fell by nearly 52 percent in 2017 compared to 2012, with more than 95 percent of respondents satisfied with the level of safety in society today. More and more people around the world consider China to be one of the safest countries, with 'social stability' and 'economic dynamism' frequently mentioned by people from other countries.
It was in the early 1950s that Chinese authorities began to realize that the public has an integral part to play in social governance, and that they can assist police in preventing criminal activity. This was an early form of the concept of community policing, an idea that would emerge in the West about 30 years later.
Over the last four decades, new social problems have emerged as a consequence of China's reform, in part because of dramatic changes to the social structure and accelerated human migration around the country. But China has strived to respond to these challenges, thanks to the participation of the overwhelming majority of people who believe that safeguarding security is a fundamental part of their responsibility as citizens.
From elderly ladies with red armbands patrolling residential communities since the 1980s to the young security volunteers providing tip-offs for the showbiz drug busts of recent years, the general public continues to serve as the solid foundation of China's social governance scheme. China's success could become a subject of case study for security officials from other countries.