||Based on my enthusiasm and keen sense for military matters, and my awareness of the impact of knowledge on military matters, I would like to use the foundation of military practices to enhance military studies through interdisciplinary integration. Having served in the ROC’s military police, after studying military police systems of various countries, I noted that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has no military police units, at least in name, in its military forces. After reading a number of reports, I realized that “People’s Armed Police Force” units in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) serve functions similar to those of military police in the militaries of democratic nations, so I chose “The Military Role of Chinese People’s Armed Police Force” as the topic of my master’s thesis.
In democratic countries, the term “military” generally refers to the armed forces and is comprised of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. It does not include the regular police which are mainly responsible for maintaining internal security and possibly assisting in the maintenance of social order in times of war. Regular police forces in democratic countries would never be used as armed forces. The idea of being “armed” is not a conspicuous characteristic of regular police forces, whether in regard to law and regulations, system, chain of command, equipment, or training. The Armed Police Force of the PRC, however, although based on the concept of a regular police force, can be better characterized by the term “armed” in terms of capabilities, functions, and structure. The name of the organization itself “Armed Police Force” is evidence that the PRC stresses the military structure and function of this unit. The motivation and purpose of this study is to investigate this issue. This study employs historical research methods and document analysis combined with concepts such as role and interactive theories to examine the PRC’s Armed Police Force. Due to certain limitations such as my position and data availability, I am only able to offer preliminary findings in this study. Chapter 2 covers the establishment and development of the Armed Police Force, analyzes the nature of the eight major reforms that the Armed Police Force underwent, and integrates the overall concept of the PRC Armed Police Force in terms of its modernization, structure, and recent infrastructure.
Chapter 3 looks into the theory of the military role of the Armed Police Force. Focusing on the fact that infrastructural development requires theoretical foundations, this chapter carries out preliminary investigation into the Armed Police Force’s military role based on role behavior theory and military specialization. Chapter 4 compares the Armed Police Force and the military, stressing the special characteristics of the Armed Police Force. In terms of the function of police force, it carries out investigation and contrasts the French system and PRC’s Public Security with the PRC’s Armed Police Force. This chapter further probes into such issues as going-beyond-limits warfare, system theory and knowledge-based military and improvements of the Armed Police Force to show that the Armed Police Force has a military function.
After discussing the theory and status of the Armed Police Force, this study focuses on the political and military perspectives and the idea that the police and the military derive from a common source to verify the military nature of the Armed Police Force. Chapter 6 describes the military activities of the Armed Police Force and illustrates the military potential of the Armed Police Force with its annual planning, training through military exercises, anti-terrorists, IT training, and other dynamics. It also evaluates the military capability of the Armed Police Force to show that the Armed Police Force can be transformed into a military force.
The conclusion of this study shows that the PRC’s Armed Police Force has special functions. In terms of development, the Armed Police Force was created to aid the party in ruling the country. In terms of organization, it plays a dual role of military and police forces. It is a complex organism in terms of tasks and management. If the PRC’s Armed Police Force were to enhance its equipment and structure, it would be unlimited in terms of battle capability. The PRC’s Armed Police Force is inseparable from the PLA and is capable of carrying out military missions. Both organizations derive from the same source, and are both political tools. As to the knowledge-based military, the PRC’s Armed Police Force is undergoing specialization, so that it can easily transform into a regular military force. When used in future military confrontation, we can not rule out the possibility that the Armed Police Force will be used to maintain “internal order” in the role of a paramilitary force to prevent military aid to Taiwan in the event of a military conflict in the Taiwan Strait.
The large size and complexity of the PRC’s Armed Police Force makes research difficult. The Armed Police Force is faced with such problems as conflicting command systems, disaster rescue missions influencing battle capability, poor logistics sustainability, and lack of theoretical support. This study shows that the PRC’s Armed Police Force fluctuates a great deal in terms of organization and training. The idea that the special role of the Armed Police Force under the PRC’s Contingency Status Law gives the PRC a pretext to launch any future military action against Taiwan while precluding intervention by other nations in a cross strait's conflagration is more than worth studying.