Input: Yu Pin
A court in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, sentences eight people for gang-related loan-sharking in March. LIU XIAO/XINHUA
CHONGQING - Police officer Hu Yang looks inconspicuous in a crowd, but he faces some of the most dangerous criminals in Chongqing as head of a 100-member squad in the public security bureau of Yubei district.
In 2018, Chongqing launched a campaign against organized crime and gang members, and by the end of March more than 2,500 cases had been investigated, with 2,676 suspects detained.
"Organized crime has become harder to investigate. It takes many field investigations and efforts to pore through voluminous papers to locate the evidence," Hu said.
Having spent 15 years as a police officer, Hu often has to put himself in harm's way to protect others. In 2016, one of the suspects he arrested had a loaded gun. "If I hadn't grabbed his hands, he would have probably pulled the trigger and wounded a police officer or a bystander," Hu said.
The discipline, dedication and bravery of Chinese police officers like Hu have helped maintain peace, order and public security.
The homicide rate in China, at 0.81 per 100,000 people, was one of the lowest in the world in 2017. More than 95 percent of the people are satisfied with public security overall.
Aziz Ullah from Afghanistan has lived in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, a commercial market hub, for 15 years. He relies on the Yiwu-Madrid freight train to send consumer goods from Yiwu to his shop in London.
"The primary feeling of living in China for so many years is that it is safe here. My family and I have never experienced theft or robbery. Disputes in business are handled in a fair and professional manner," said Ullah.
Ullah is among 21 foreign mediators invited by the local government to help settle trade disputes between Chinese and foreign merchants.
Yiwu has around 15,000 foreign residents from more than 100 countries, and receives more than 400,000 overseas visitors every year.
The city has issued more than 10,000 merchant cards, which contain the electronic information of foreign businessmen in Yiwu. With the cards, foreign merchants can apply for residence permits in Yiwu. In case of an emergency, they can present the card to the police for help.
Not far from Yiwu, Hangzhou is taking the lead in the nation's drive to build smart cities. It has boosted citywide use of technologies such as AI and the internet of things to help manage traffic and spot security hazards.
As the headquarters of internet giant Alibaba, Hangzhou has implemented the Alibaba City Brain Project using AI algorithms to monitor and control traffic signals and street cameras.
Wang Jian, chairman of the technology committee of Alibaba, said the system, covering 420 square kilometers of the downtown area, is accessible to urban managers and public security and tourism authorities to help them respond to emergencies and promptly handle problems.
With information sensed and automatically flagged by the system, the public security departments can monitor and swiftly dispatch police officers to restore order and tackle traffic congestion.
The Hangzhou police said the city brain system has helped double the capacity of police, which is equivalent to adding 280 police officers per day.
In Zhejiang, building a safe province has extended to political, social, economic, internet and environmental fields.
In 2018, the number of criminal cases in Zhejiang dropped by 13.1 percent year-on-year. The number of homicides decreased by 10 percent, said Zhu Chen, deputy secretary of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of Political and Legal Affairs.
Because of improved police efficiency, fire incidents in 2018 decreased by 32.5 percent, and deaths caused by fire were down by 37.5 percent year-on-year.
Yang Guoqing, an official at the public security bureau of Hangzhou's Jianggan district, said technology has helped police improve precision and efficiency.
"Now, in 94 percent of the cases we handle, police officers can arrive at the scene of a crime or accident within five minutes after receiving a system alert," Yang said.
"The future of police work will be more digitized, networked and reliant on information technology. It will help us predict and respond to any situation that needs our assistance," he said.