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Readout of Secretary Johnson's Trip to China

Release Date: 
April 11, 2015

For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

BEIJING – On April 9-10, 2015, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson visited Beijing in the People’s Republic of China. The purpose of the trip was to discuss issues of shared concern including counterterrorism, customs, immigration, cybersecurity, and maritime security, in advance of President Xi Jinping’s 2015 visit to the United States. Chinese Minster of Public Security Guo Shengkun hosted Secretary Johnson’s visit, and it included meetings with Secretary of Political and Legal Affairs Meng Jianzhu, Minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China Lu Wei, and Minister of the General Administration of China Customs Yu Guangzhou. Secretary Johnson characterized the meetings as “frank exchanges of views on matters about which we disagree, and agreement to move forward on matters about which we do agree.” 

During the meetings, Secretary Johnson and Minister Guo committed to increased information sharing on foreign terrorist fighters through international databases, and to focus on preventing the proliferation of explosive precursors used by terrorist organizations. 

Minister Guo also proposed to establish cybersecurity discussions with the Department of Homeland Security.

Secretary Johnson and Minister Guo agreed to a more streamlined process to repatriate Chinese nationals with final orders of removal, while applications for protection will continue to be handled in accordance with U.S. law and American values. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the China Ministry of Public Security will work closely to verify the identities of Chinese nationals requiring travel documents and will ensure that regular charter flights are scheduled to facilitate repatriation.

The Secretary and his counterparts also discussed an array of customs and maritime issues, gaining agreement to increase the amount of cargo scanned by the General Administration of China Customs through the Container Security Initiative, and to expand the program to additional ports in China and the United States, and to increase their cooperation in interdicting illicit and counterfeit goods. Secretary Johnson and U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Charles Ray stressed the importance of both nations working towards agreement through the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum to include international maritime protocols into the Forum’s combined operations manual.

Finally, while in Beijing, the Secretary spoke to students at the People’s Public Security University, in remarks entitled “To Protect and Serve the Public.” In those remarks, Secretary Johnson talked about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s mission, noted the evolving global terrorist threat, and the proper role of law enforcement. Secretary Johnson noted:

“The reality is that effective homeland security must be more than the basic exertion of power and authority by the state; it is also an exercise by the state in building trust and legitimacy in the communities we serve. The power to surveil, interrogate, arrest, detain, prosecute, and convict must be accompanied by the ability to gain the cooperation and approval of the community in our efforts. Public participation in our homeland security efforts is vital. Where relationships with the community are strong, we succeed. Where relationships with the community are fraught with tension and suspension, our job is much harder.

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The best and most enduring examples of law enforcement include a police force that relates well to a community, is trusted by the community, and reflects the community. The police officer is viewed as a friend, not the enemy. This also includes a criminal justice system perceived as humane and fair.

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The failures in law enforcement have common attributes too—the police do not reflect the community they serve; the police are seen as an occupying force, to be resented and viewed with suspicion; the criminal justice system is perceived as secretive, harsh, unfair, and repressive of certain people simply because of their race, religion or nationality. The very community we most need to help us turns inward, and fails to warn law enforcement of trouble brewing from within.  Instances of excessive force and police brutality become flash points; the community's resentment boils over to anger and demonstrations, people feel justified in directing hostility toward the state and its officers. Peace and stability are lost.”

For more information on the meeting between Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and China’s Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun, please see this fact sheet.

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Last Published Date: April 11, 2015
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