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Is China a Safe Country Despite Police Corruption?

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Formerly an economics and humanities student at UCLA, Oe Kaori is now an intern for the United Nations.


Foreigners and the Crime Rates in China

Although China executes far more criminals each year than any other country, society as a whole is stable and safe. Most major cities in China are extremely safe, and unlike the US, where you can be mugged at gunpoint, or parts of Europe, where pickpocketing has become an art form, China is extremely safe when it comes to crime. It is safe for women to walk alone at night, but it is generally too dangerous to walk in the streets at night. In Japan, there is generally no crime against women traveling alone at night, so it is unlikely that one will be involved in security crimes.

Foreigners are very rarely targeted for crimes in China, but they are more likely than Chinese to be victims of violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping. The population in the area plays a role: migrants and violent crime are associated with higher crime rates and are highly related to the anchor points of the perpetrators. In general, more crime incentives (crime generators) have more access to police resources and more resources to investigate crimes more thoroughly. Criminals are punished worse than the Chinese who are victims, according to a recent study by the National Justice Bureau.

We know that China's poor are over-represented - both as perpetrators and victims of crime, and we should not forget that Australians detained in China will face a similar legal system. The Chinese police, who are keen to professionalize their work, should cooperate.

Lawlessness in the countryside and to some extent in China in general is blamed for high crime rates in Beijing and other major Chinese cities. Income inequality in Chinese society is a source of social tension and the cause of the economic crime that is occurring in and around Beijing (and other major Chinese cities).

Chinese cities, including Shanghai, now carry firearms, with the majority of police officers on the streets unarmed. While some officers in Beijing and other major Chinese cities (such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Guangdong) have begun to carry firearms, most of them have remained unarmed since the late 1990s. The Chinese city (which includes Shanghai) has begun to carry firearms. Despite the recent increase in police use of firearms, the majority or all of the officers on the streets will remain unarmed until the end of 2014.

The crime rate is relatively low: violent crime (murders, burglaries, robberies, etc.) In China, the crime rate is less than 10%. Violent crime, homicides, and burglaries / robberies are on average 1.5 times more common than the national average per 100,000 people, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, but the rate of these crimes has been relatively low since the late 1990s, owing to a decline in police numbers and the use of firearms by police. Violence, murder, burglary, robbery and other types of violent crime occur in a number of cities and towns across the country, from Beijing to Guangdong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai.

Police training to combat crime increased by 10% annually from the late 1970 "s to the early 1980" s, when Deng's reforms were introduced, and the police-violence rate remained constant for nearly 30 years. Yu led the creation of the National Police Training Centre for Combating Organised Crime in the 1990s and 2000s.

Although China's crime figures are compared with those of the West and other developed countries, most cities in China are still very safe, according to Yu. The number of murders, rapes, robberies, kidnappings and robberies in the capital Beijing has increased sharply, especially in Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai, but is still very low.

How Do Journalist Feel in China?

As I wrote in a piece for Foreign Policy last week, the Chinese government may be treating journalists differently now, but it’s unlikely that China is becoming a freer place to live and work. But does this mean that foreign journalists should rethink their plans to visit the country, or should they, even with a State Department warning, still plan to visit?

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I agree with the State Department’s message that visiting China is always a potential risk. I have been in China at the invitation of the state, and have been followed and harassed by the state. But I do not plan to change my travel plans. The evidence does not support the idea that China is becoming a safer country. In 2008, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that Chinese journalists were more likely to receive threats than reporters working in any other country. As the CPJ also reported, Chinese journalists regularly have their confidential source(s) shot or tortured, and in 2010, the Committee recorded 127 cases of government intimidation.

Journalist in China can be potentially like criminals. Most have to watch what they write, speak, or say publicly. China is safe but has corruption issues to deal with.


This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Oe Kaori

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