China calls on police to use guns lawfully after shootings

China calls on police to use guns lawfully after shootings
PHOTO: Reuters

BEIJING - A top Chinese security official has called for police to use their guns properly weeks after a shooting by police stirred controversy and raised questions about excessive use of force.

Violent crime and shootings by police are relatively rare in China compared with some other countries but the police killing of a man during an altercation at a railway station in May provoked outrage on social media with many people complaining of police impunity.

Chinese Vice Public Security Minister Huang Ming has urged police to use their guns lawfully to ensure both their safety and the security of the public.

"Police involved in violent incidents on the job should use their guns as the law stipulates so as to ensure their own safety while safeguarding the people's security," Huang was quoted as saying on a government website.

"Police should be fully armoured with necessary protective equipment and improve their capability for handling emergencies on the spot," he said.

Huang did not refer to the shooting in May.

He also said police should strengthen "technical and tactical real-battle exercises and skill training" targeting violent crime and crimes related to guns and explosives.

On Wednesday, police said they shot an ethnic Uighur man who had charged into a queue for tickets holding a brick at a train station in the city of Xian. The man died later.

Huang also called on police to crack down on criminals producing and trafficking guns and explosives.

Figures for the number of people killed in encounters with the police in China were not available.

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