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Are You Being Followed by “the Man” ? (1) – Informer Is Everywhere in China

Posted by Author on March 17, 2010

He Qinglian, Chinese author and economist, via SecretChina.com, Mar. 17, 2010-

While I was reading through information about the Chinese government hiring informers, my fingers automatically typed this topic on the keyboard, “Are You Being Followed by the Man?” It is indeed a question that any Chinese who cares about public affairs and who likes to express himself on the Internet cannot ignore.

1. “The Man” Is Everywhere in the Country

Let’s talk about the possibilities of being noticed and followed by “the Man”. Recently, in an interview posted on Xinhua Net, Liu Xingchen, Assistant to the County Mayor of Kailu County (in Inner Mongolia), who is also the Chinese Communist Party Secretary and the Chief Commander of the Public Security Bureau, boasted to the reporter that he “has a huge network of informers” that helps him stay “highly alert” to any dissidents and acts of defiance.

How big is this network? Let’s look at the figures Liu Xingchen gave out. The number of informers under the control of the Public Security Bureau in Kailu County alone is 12093. The whole population of that county is 400,000. Disregarding a quarter of the population who are under the age of 18, there is one informer for every 25 adults. According to the Olympic Security Format by Meng Jianzhu, Secretary of Ministry of Public Security, which centered around the “Six Networks”, i.e., Street Level Prevention and Control, Community Level Prevention and Control, Inside Workplace Prevention and Control, Video Monitoring Networks, Regional Police Co-operation Network, and Virtual Social Prevention and Control, the proportion of informers in Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities, is much higher than a remote area like Kailu County.

The lowest level of informers is the “50 Cent Party”. They are active on the Internet, and earn 50 Chinese cents per comment they post that favors the government. Considering the difficulty of getting a job these days, the demand for this soul selling “employment” exceeds the supply. Thus, the pay was reduced. Recently, the government of Hengyang City, Hunan Province announced that each posted comment would only earn 10 Chinese cents, and the monthly salary for each person cannot exceed 100 Chinese yen, which is slightly over 10 US dollars.

I didn’t know which dynasty in Chinese history had ever gotten such a complete, widely spread, self-contained system of informers, apart from the Mao Period, which had a mechanism of using “active individuals”, people mobilized from the public to inform. Yet even during Mao’s time, since the information was limited, and their policy to fool the people was quite successful, Mao felt quite secure with his subjects when compared with the rulers today. Only during the Yuan Dynasty were the rulers as anxious and insecure about their subjects.

A minority in China, who invaded the middle land, established the Yuan Dynasty. Of course they would worry about the Han people who made up the majority of people at the time. Hence, they divided people into four classes. Among them, the Han were divided into Han and Southerners, which resembles what Mao did with the exploiting class, by having “landlord” and “urban business owners”. The latter has a better status than the former. Such a division creates barriers among people and makes it hard for them to stay united. The Han people were especially regulated. They could not have any organizations, were not allowed to worship in groups, nor could they have weapons. For example, ten households had to share one kitchen knife. The Mongolians were sent to reside in the Han peoples’ communities to manage them.

It is safe to say the Chinese government still uses those means to control their population today, only modified and more advanced. For example, guns used for game hunting replaced kitchen knives. Compared with the rulers during the Yuan Dynasty, their counterparts today have more effective monitoring methods thanks to technological advances accompanied by a system of informers, which forges a “Golden Shield” that is going to protect the “Chinese Communist Party’s reign for tens of thousands of years.” (to be cont’d)

– From Secret China , Original Chinese article from Author’s website

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