This page was last updated on: June 29, 2017
When visiting Beijing and walking about its' streets and monuments the visitor comes across al kinds of people and personel in Official Police and sometimes Military-style Uniforms.
This page , part of The Beijing Report's digital photographic report on the DongCheng Beijing Police Museum ,   at West Former Legation Street, attemps an explanation of the different branches of Police with their different uniforms. Based upon Beijing Police Museum promotional material and supplemented by The China Report photos, a fun introduction to Beijing Police Uniforms.
The Beijing Police Museum
Police Uniforms of Beijing Explained
DongCheng District Menu
Regular Police Man and Regular Police Woman
   As their Slogan says - Regular Police
   strictly enforce the law and provide friendly
   service to the Citizens at the same time.
   Regular Police Men and Women are not armed
   with pistols. They may however carry a an
   electrical baton. Other equipment is mandatory
   communications gear. Visitors will find regular
   Police Men and Women around the Cities'
   Centre in sufficient number to ask Police
   Officers for help and directions. Many speak
   english well ( enough ) and Police will always
   help you out.
   Police Stations are found in each
   neighborhood of any main City. Most are
   easily recognisable with the word Police on
   their frontage. Police stations and sub-stations
   carry a board at their entry, holding photos
   and name of each assigned Officer of the Station. When dealing with crime, police work can be slow. However, Police Work is thorough and very punctual.
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Special Duties Police
The special Duties Police are the Police's Special Weapon and Iron Fist against violent Crime, terrorist actions, and Civil Disunrest. Especially equiped to deal with these situations, the Special Duties Police are the protective screen of the Nation against violence and crime. Never seen them in action anywhere in China. According to the news this special Police branch has seen more and more action lately, as civil tensions are on the rise in China's rapidly changing economy and society. Mass protests and riots against the Governement have been sparked by small street incidents and are increasingly common around China.
Fire Duty  Police
The fire brigade in China is part of the Police and the Public Security Bureau. Stations of the Fire Police are located around all City Districts.
Traffic  Police
Traffic Police , as in any other country or city only deal with traffic , regulations and violations of them. Many Traffic Police Men can be seen patrolling around Beijing City.
Police in charge of household registration
This branch of the Police is quite unique to China and is charged with controlling registration of all City Citizens, as required by Chinese Law. Illegals can be either Chinese but non-resident, or Foreign and will be detained. Anyone person living in the City must registrer themselves with the Public Security Bureau and aquire a residency permit.
However, with the growing number of often very poor migrant workers flocking to China's Big Cities, many do not have registrations as City Citizens. Police tolerance for Chinese Illegals is increasing, but periodic clean ups of the inner city, removing beggars, prostitutes and other unwanted elements are frequent. There is a much higher tolerance for illegal construction workers, the men who are currently reshaping China. This branch of Beijing Police can be compared somewhat to a local customs and immigration Police.
Criminal Investigative Police
Never had anything to do with them.
If you ever run into one of these Police Men and they are waving the badge at you , you are in serious trouble.
The Criminal Investigative Police can either be in uniform or civilian dress. This branch of the Police deals with violent crimes, narcotics and weapons trafficking, counter-terrorism, organised crime, financial crimes and fraud.
With the opening-up Policy of China and the increasing difference in income between citizens, crime rates are increasing. Nevertheless , China is still a country with a relatively low crime level.
Armed Duty Police
The Special Branch of Armed Duty Police have the responsibility of Guarding China's National Security and Internal Social Stability.
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Armed Duty Policeman on guard at Tianan Men , the Gate of Heavenly Peace. The National Theatre Dome behind The Great Hall of The Peoples is just visible under construction (ready 2005).
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Note the Green Uniform with 2 golden and 1 red stripe on the sleeve. As the name says these Police-men are armed with Pistols.
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Beijing Traffic Police Man on duty underneath the Forbidden City ( Gugong ) Walls.
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Beijing Traffic Police Motorcycle parked in front of Hong Qiao Market at
      Fahuasi Jie.
The Beijing Public Security Bureau , or the Beijing Police  knows seven different branches. Starting with the regular police, these are further the Criminal Investigative Police, the Traffic Police, The Police in charge of Household Registration and the Riot Police. Two further somewhat unusual branches complete the Beijing Bureau of Public Security : the paramilitary styled Armed Duty Police and the Fire-brigade.
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On Duty Police - Police Workstation
Find Police Station's scattered around Beijing City. Each District has several small Police Stations such as the above at QianMen DongDajie (near ChongwenMen) on the first floor above a small restaurant. All
           assigned officers are advertised with their Photo, Name and Rank
           inside each station.
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Beijing Police Cadets
Beijing Police Cadets can mainly be seen in the Western area of Xuanwu District. They are not a regular appearance on the street.
Dressed similarly to the security guards (another chapter of uniforms) that can be found at just about any main site around Beijing, Police Cadets can be recognized by their spartan name tags, uniform hat and their scarlet arm insigna. Marching in groups, large or small, from Beijing Security University, just over the district border in Fengtai, Police Cadets are usually friendly on the street and quite open to photography.
All in all Beijing's City scenes are colored with a multitude of Police, Security Guards and Militairy Uniforms. For those unaccustomed to this presence and new to Beijing it is very noticable. However, Police and Guards are almost always cordial and, if able to speak english, will gladly help you out. Although authority is still strong in China, tourists and foreigners are seldom bothered by Police, unless there is a good reason.
Mind yourself to follow instructions and do not push forward on forbidden territories. You may pay dearly for this as you will be stopped. Do not mingle in Police matters involving third parties or chinese citizens. This is usually not appreciated and frowned upon as nosyness into Police Affairs. You may be arrested when taking photos of Police Arrests, especially when they are accompanied by Police violence, which does happen.
A group of Police Cadets in western Xuanwu district, near Guang An Men.
The Police Cadets seen up close.
Beijing is usually a very safe city to dwell in, although crime has been increasing with the advent of capitalism and large differences in income. Pick pockets on busses, on the well-used metro-system and near tourist crowds have always been around. So too in Beijing. Be polite, mind your manners and goods, and you should be able to enjoy your stay !!
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Entrusted the Sacred responsibility of guarding China's National Monuments in TiananMen Square, Beijing (and other National Sites) the Olive Green Armed Duty Police symbolise the Dignity and Power of the State throughout all of China, and the Power of The Chinese People and not it's Militairy over National Sovereignty. Olive Green uniformed Armed duty police are on guard at many major sites and monuments of Beijing , such as TiananMen Gate, the Great Hall of the Peoples, the Monument to the Heroes of the Revolution, Mao Zedong Mausoleum and last but not least The Forbidden City. A Ceremonial Section of Armed Duty Police is stationed inside the Forbidden City in front of Wu Men. Every morning and evening this ceremonial section performs the National Flag Ceremony, emerging from the Forbidden City via Tian an Men, the crossing Chang An Avenue, to arrive for Flag & Watch-duties at The National Flag on the North end of TiananMen Square (a.k.a. the Square of Heavenly Peace). To View Photos of this Ceremony and to get more information , Click Here.

These Policemen undergo a militairy-type like training and are usually armed with Pistols, small clubs and often tasers. They are also well trained in martial arts.
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The Men of the Chongwen District Fire Police welcoming new reenforcements at their Station adjacent Glory City at ChongwenMen Nei Dajie'..
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Beijing Police Museum Report
This page was last updated on: June 29, 2017
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