Mannequins in riot gear, armoured cars and drones line a police equipment and “anti-terrorism technology” trade fair in Beijing as vendors seek to profit from China’s huge internal security budget.
The country is estimated to have more than 180,000 protests each year and the ruling Communist Party spends vast sums on ensuring order — more even than on its military, the largest in the world.
China’s domestic security budget across all levels of government is 769 billion yuan ($125 billion) this year, more than the country officially plans to spend on its armed forces, and an increase of more than 200 billion yuan since 2010.
Billions of the internal security budget, which also covers mundane items such as food safety and running courts, is earmarked for “stability maintenance”, a term used to justify arresting protesters and surveillance of dissidents.
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