I’m struggling to come up with an analogy here. It’s like the fox guarding the chicken coop… from dogs? And also all of the chickens are also foxes? Apparently someone is trying to get Beijing police to stop interceptors from preventing petitioners from reaching the government in Beijing… but the interceptors are also following orders from up top, so… what?!
Last year, Chinese media exposed the workings of one of China’s darkest industries: security firms that prevent citizens from filing complaints with central authorities, and resort to aggressive or violent tactics to detain them in black jails.
Reports at the time focused on how the Beijing-based Anyuanding Security Firm—at the behest of officials from other parts of the country seeking to hit state-mandated targets for social stability—manhandled and detained petitioners who had traveled to the capital to express discontent about their local governments. The firm made 21 million yuan in profits in 2008, and employed 3,000 people before media reports exposed its activities.
Now, Beijing police say they are cracking down on the informal business of “intercepting,” by strengthening regulations, requiring certification and levying fines for what they said is an illegal practice.
“We draw the line at interception,” said Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) official He Gang to Beijing Times. “This line cannot be crossed.”
“Security guard companies are a mess,” Zhang said, noting that some security guards resort to violence to catch and stop petitioners.
He Gang said no certified firms participated in intercepting this year. The new rules stipulate that firms will pay a penalty between 20,000 and 100,000 yuan for every illegal detention that occurs.
But if the petitioners reach the government and actually start petitioning, all hell breaks loose. Maybe this ‘increased regulation’ thing is just a way for Beijing police to extract bribes from interceptors without actually interfering in their intercepting? We’ll see what comes of this (likely nothing).