While walking in Jianwai SOHO, part of Beijing’s Central Business District (CBD), we come across a sign for the “Center of Comprehensive Treatment and Maintaining Stability” of the Jianwai SubDistrict of Chaoyang District. We are curious about the work of this center and end up talking with Mr. Liu Zhenping, the section chief of Beijing’s Jianwai Sub District PR Department. We talk with him about the work of the center, which turns out to be a Security Management Office.
During our talk with Mr. Liu we were not allowed to take photos of him, but he kindly allowed me to take photos of the goldfish in the reception lounge of his office and of the view towards the window.
The Security Management Office is in charge of community security, including the assistance of people who call for help, settling disputes among neighbors and maintaining and executing emergency plan (e.g. in case of fire or release of toxic gasses). The area has many office buildings and Mr. Liu’s department is arranging fire drills twice or three times a year.
Mr. Liu’s PR department is in charge of dealing with the press and to communicate policies of the government. For example, during the Chinese New Year (the Spring Festival) the department would distribute posters and brochures with safety tips and regulations on how to use fireworks; they would designate areas for using the fireworks and have a shift planning in place for a team that can respond to emergencies.
The responsibility of the department reaches from Dawang Road to the east and Guanghua Road to the north. The resident population in the area is only 40,000, while the number of daily commuters can reach 500,000 as there are many office buildings in the area; among them offices of many of the world’s top 500 enterprises. According to Mr. Liu, the area is a political sensitive area with lots of embassies around and frequent visits from foreign guests such as presidents of states. They are always very busy. With so many people working here, traffic jams are very common. These are not the responsibility of his department. If there are problems, they ask traffic police and volunteers to handle it.
Liu Zhenping’s major is Chinese. He used to work in the army for six years and holds the certificate that proves he passed the scrutiny by the government to allow him to work in sensitive areas of the government. After the army he joined the Civil Service and since then he has served at several PR departments in the city.