In the past, histories of the world omitted China; if a Chinese person invented the compass or movable type or gunpowder, we promptly forgot it and named their European inventors. In short, we regarded China as a sort of different and quite inconsequential planet, wrote W.E.B. Du Bois in the early 1900s.

No more.

After surviving floods, famine, wars, the Red Guard, lead poisonings and numerous political and social regimes, China is now a major economic and technology force. Beyond toys, medical supplies and clothes, China manufactures and exports a diversity of security gear throughout the world. It is also importing crime control and detection gear, including from the U.S. In fact, some experts believe that China is the world’s fastest-growing market for security and crime control equipment.

But no matter how China has evolved, there continues to be enigmas and controversies.

The latest emerged during the April China International Exhibition on Police Equipment in Beijing, sponsored by the Ministry of Public Security. According to media reports, including the New York Times, DuPont exhibited Kevlar bulletproof fabric for China’s riot police. And Motorola displayed police radio systems and wireless communications for transmitting video surveillance data.