“All police forces get buffeted from time to time, but they know one thing: through revolutions, political-line changes and the fall of governments, the police are eternal.”

From John Fraser’s The Chinese: Portrait of a People.

His observations centred on the Gonganju (Public Security Bureau) in China.  They became enmeshed (and very politicised) with the Great Leap Forward and later the Cultural Revolution, and after Mao’s death the Party began an effort to disentangle the Gonganju from political life (and ultimately involvement in the Party’s own internal affairs.)  About that he noted the following:

The Communist Party has begun a campaign to reorient the Gonganju from being an enforcer of political thought to being a more effective custodian of law and order, but it’s going to be a long, uphill struggle.  There is every reason to believe that the police establishment will successfully resist too great a change because it knows that a one-party totalitarian state always needs a political thought enforcer eventually.

Yi Jinping understands this completely.  Given the totalitarian urges out and about in our own society, for us–on the left or the right–to think we’re immune from this, or that we can abolish the police at will, is foolish.  The police exist, among other things, to uphold the existing order, and it’s reasonable to say that, if that existing order were to radically change, whatever replaces it will need the police as much as the one it displaces.

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