China says will allow nothing to spoil the Party

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Thu Sep 6, 6:12 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is ready to stamp out hostile forces, defuse popular unrest and the Falun Gong "cult," cut crime and clean up cyberspace to ensure the success of a key Communist Party meeting next month, the police chief said.

The 17th Party Congress, opening on October 15, is arguably China's most significant political gathering in five years. Party boss Hu Jintao is expected to use it to tighten his grip on power and chart future policy priorities for the nation.

While acknowledging that the overall situation was favorable, Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang warned police at all levels of the arduous task of maintaining social harmony.

"Our country is in a period of outstanding conflict among the people, high crime rates and complex struggles against enemies," Zhou told a security meeting on Wednesday.

"There are still many destabilizing and uncertain factors," Zhou was quoted as saying by his ministry's Web site (

He named a wide scope of enemies ranging from overseas and domestic hostile forces, ethnic "splittists," religious extremists, violent terrorists and the Falun Gong, which was banned as an evil cult in 1999.

The jargon refers to critics of one-party rule -- dissidents, democracy campaigners and rights activists and those who support the independence of Tibet and the far-western Muslim region of Xinjiang.

Social conflict that could trigger "mass incidents" -- a euphemism for popular protests and riots that have been on the rise -- must be nipped in the bud at the grassroots level, Zhou said.

Murders, explosions, robberies, thefts, drugs, guns and organized crimes must be reduced to boost people's confidence in public security, he said.

"The instruction and management of the Internet should be strengthened to create a harmonious cyberspace," Zhou added.

Zhou is a member of the Party's elite Politburo and is tipped for promotion at the congress, during which 2,217 delegates representing the 73 million Party members meet behind closed doors.

"Police forces should be good at handling and resolving problems with a political perspective," Zhou said.

"We should safeguard the leadership of the Communist Party, the socialist system and the state regime of people's democratic dictatorship with real actions."