A (probable) village work report

Verifiability/reliability: Moderate, highly unusual provenance but with some details verifiable through additional research; see notes on authenticity following translation

This piece was originally discovered and tweeted out by Nur, an Uyghur activist, and shared in December 2020 by Professor Timothy Grose. It's an interesting one in terms of its provenance. It has since been deleted, but is archived here. Key takeaway: this village had over 11% of its population detained, imprisoned, and/or sent for reeducation by the end of 2017.

Bureaucracy can be tedious, and this is no less true in China than anywhere else. Cadres and private sector workers are often required to submit regular reports on detailing their work over the previous year (or month, or however long). Work reports and related reviews are common enough that there are several websites like this one dedicated to selling packages of pre-written ones for a wide variety of jobs.

The source of the work report partially translated below is from a similar website that operates under a model where users can access full versions of reports either through buying them or earning credits after uploading their own. Someone apparently submitted this work report from a Xinjiang village. According to its submission guidelines, the website rejects reports with content already posted on the Internet and redacts "names of sensitive or confidential places, names, etc."

Given the unverifiable nature of the source, I was hesitant to translate it at first. Following the translation is a full explanation as to why I ultimately judged this work report to be authentic.

Note: The opening line of the report identifies the unit submitting it, the Autonomous Region Department of Land and Resources Fanghuiju Work Team stationed in [Redacted] (13) Village, Beshkent Town, Yarkand County (自治区国土资源厅驻莎车县佰什坎特镇**(13)村“访惠聚”工作队). The village, I have determined, is Quma, and I refer to [Redacted] (13) simply as Quma in the translation (the 13 is part of a numbering system used to differentiate villages, which often have identical or similar names, even within the same counties). See the explanation at the bottom of this page as to how I determined the name of the village.

访惠聚 汇报材料 建强基层组织 夯实群众基础努力实现社会稳定与长治久安总目标莎车县**(13)村工作总结 2017年9月11日

Fanghuiju Report Material Strengthening Local Organization[s], Reinforcing the Bases of the Masses Striving to Realize Goals of Social Stability and Long-term Peace and Order [Quma] Village, Yarkand County Work Report September 11, 2017

一、**(13)村基本情况 **(13)村距离镇政府3公里,全村有7个村民小组,514户2296人。村干部9人,村警1人,保安9名,十户长53名。党员40人,团员39人,“四老”人员8人。建档立卡贫困户88户246人,低保户58户86人,五保户4户4人。新建安居富民房340套,耕地面积5400亩,集体土地400亩,2016年种植小麦2930亩,种植棉花1400亩。2016年村集体收入1.66万元,2016年人均纯收入4800元。各类牲畜存栏1400头(只)。

I. Basic Situation in Quma Quma is 3km from the seat of the town. There are seven villager small groups in total. There are 2296 people in 514 households. There are nine village cadres, one village police officer, nine security guards, and 53 ten-household* heads. There are 40 Party members, 39 [Xinjiang Production and Construction] Corps members, and eight members of the "four olds".** There are 246 people across 88 registered poor households, 86 people across 58 households receiving minimum living guarantee welfare, and four people across four households receiving five guarantees [another type of welfare program]. 340 homes to enrich the people have been built and settled in. There are 5400 mu of cultivated land and 400 mu of collective land. In 2016, 2930 mu of wheat was grown and 1400 mu of cotton. The village's collective income was ¥16,600 in 2016, and the average gross income per person was ¥4800. There are 1400 head of various livestock raised.

* This refers to the 10-Household United Defense (十户联防) system, a method of social management/control system based on groups of ten households as the base units of accountability. ** Retired Party cadres, veterans, etc.

驻村工作首先面对的是全村“五多”“四无”“三少”的现状。即:“五多”清真寺、信教群众多(原有7座,现有两座)、离婚和超生家庭多(177户195人)、80、90中闲散人员数多(近400人)、贫困户和低保户多、宗教极端思想严重的人群多;“四无”无学校,无村民活动中心(文化广场),无集体经济,前三年无驻村工作队;“三少”群众受教育少,入党积极分子少(年初只有两人),基础设施少。全村宗教氛围浓厚,历史欠账多,宗教极端思想渗透、危害严重,是自治区集中整治工作重点村,被收押、判刑人员家属思想包袱重、情绪波动大,工作任务十分艰巨。

The first thing the village work team had to face was the "five too manys, four nos, and three too fews" situation in the village. Namely: the "five too manys"—too many mosques and too many religious people (there were originally seven mosques, now two); too many divorces and too many families with too many children (195 people across 177 households); too many idle 80s- and 90s-born people (nearly 400); too many poor households and minimum guarantee welfare households; and too many people with severe religious extremism. The "four nos"—no schools; no village activity center/cultural square; no collective economy; and no village work team stationed for the previous three years. The "three too fews"—too few receiving an education; too few energetically joining the Party (only two at the beginning of the year); and too few basic infrastructure installations. The religious atmosphere of the entire village is heavy, it has many historical debts [this appears to be figurative, like 'inherited' or 'historical' problems], religious extremism has infiltrated, and [the situation] is grave. It is a key village for centralized rectification work in the Autonomous Region. The family members of the detained and sentenced are beset with ideological burdens and emotions are volatile; the work has been arduous.

二、工作开展情况和主要成效 (一)严打开路、多措并举,确保实现村级社会稳定目标。

II. Development of Work and Major Achievements 1. Strike Hard to Forge a Path, Enact Numerous Measures, and Ensure the Realization of the Goal of Stability at the Village Level

[1366 characters hidden behind paywall by the website]

[...]积极协助国土资源系统88名干部职工与本村148户村民开展“民族团结一家亲”对子活动;同时,驻村工作队员和乡镇干部组成51个结亲小组与本村151户163名危安五类人员家属组合式结亲,开展“一对一”帮扶,建立积分制管理台账,实行“一人一组一方案”;在工作中,按照“不排斥、不牵连、不歧视”的原则,向他们耐心细致地讲清政策、法律和利害关系,深刻揭露宗教极端思想和暴力恐怖活动的真实面目、现实危害,并在教育疏导的同时,协调落实低保、扶贫、安居富民等惠民政策,最大限度消除对立面。落实相关要求。

[...] [We] actively assisted 88 cadre staff of the Land and Resources Department launch “national unity as a family" paired activities with 148 households in the village. At the same time, the village work team and the township and village cadres organized 51 paired relative† small groups for 163 relatives of people of the five dangerous types‡ across 151 households, launched "one-on-one" mentoring, established a point-based management account, and implemented a "one person, one group plan". During our work, in accordance with the principles of "no rejection, implication [of others' guilt?], no discrimination', we patiently and in detail explained the relationship between policy, laws, and vital interests, thoroughly demonstrating the true face and real harm of religious extremist thought and terrorism. Along with our teaching and guidance, we also coordinated and implement policies that benefit the people, such as minimum living guarantee welfare, poverty alleviation, and Living in Peace and Prosperity, thus maximally eliminating antagonist sentiments [and] implemented the relevant requirements. [The original appears to have a period instead of a comma; I translated here as if it were a comma]

† "Paired relative" in the Chinese text, 结亲, is short for 结对亲戚. A cadre is paired with a Uyghur family to "eat, live, work, and study together" (同吃,同住,同劳动,同学习) for a period of time. Participation in the program is not based on the request or permission of the Uyghur host families, as far as I can tell. ‡ 危安五类人员: Not entirely clear what this is referring to.

//九是充分发挥网格化管理优势,做好重点要素管控工作。建立覆盖全村的五级网格化管理“十户联防”体系,落实“十户联防”和偏远散户“十必备”要求,加大出租房屋清查排查力度;由各支力量组成25人包户包联小组,形成覆盖全村的“十户联防”体系46个,对所有不放心群体定期走访,认真研判评估管控等级,掌握其行动轨迹和现实表现;健全预警体系,组建15人联防队,统一配备装备和防暴加强巡逻防控工作;在斋月、“一带一路”峰会等敏感节点,驻村工作队员在岗带班,加大巡逻力度,扩大巡逻范围;安装电铃、报警器、摄像头,加大物防技防力度;落实要素管控措施,对1981个器具、126辆大型车辆及32台管制器具等危险物品逐一登记、建立台账,统一管理,消除风险隐患。

Ninth, we gave full play to the advantages of grid-style management, succeeding in the management and control work of key factors.* We established a level 5 grid-style management 10-Household United Defense system, implemented the 10-Household United Defense system and for remote and isolated households the "Ten Essentials" requirements, and strengthened investigations and inspections for renting residences. We established 25-person baohubaolian small groups, forming 46 10-Household United Defense units covering the village. We regularly visited uneasy groups,‡ assessing and determining control grades [of the groups?], grasping their movements and actual performance. We invigorated the warning system and organized a 15-person United Defense Team, unified equipment and riot control to strengthen patrol and prevention-and-control work. During Ramadan, Belt and Road Initiative summits and other such sensitive periods, village work teams were on shift, patrols were strengthened and their scopes expanded, and [we strengthened] alarms, police warning devices, cameras, and physical defenses. We implemented key element management and control measures, registering dangerous objects including 1981 instruments,° 126 large vehicles and 32 controlled instruments, establishing accounts [for] unified management and [thus] eliminating a hidden danger.

* Grid-style management is a method for monitoring and management of communities. Per the Xinjiang Documentation Project: "This system divides urban communities into geometric zones to facilitate police activity, technologically automated surveillance and Artificial Intelligence analysis. Since 2017, Party Secretary Chen Quanguo applied the Grid Management System Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region." Key factors (重点要素) is likely related to key individuals (重点人员). ** I am no sure what the "Ten Essentials" refers to, but from context it sounds like some sort of ideological and/or procedural measures for households that are too far out in the country to reliably be monitored as part of a † Not entirely sure what this is either. Possibly to be a reference to a sort of layered monitoring and surveillance system, or perhaps a disaster preparedness initiative; see e.g. this 2020 article about flood prevention in the People's Daily that uses similar phrasing (“省包市、市包县、县包乡、乡包村、村包组、组包户”包联体系). ‡ Uneasy groups (不放心群体) is also a very obscure term, or at least one with little public mention. "Uneasy" here could also be translated as "worried" or perhaps "worrisome". In the few other places it shows up, it seems to be related to the above-mentioned key individuals, e.g. here, so it appears be composed of be entities that the state considers potentially problematic in some way. ° Possibly things like knives, which hold an important position in traditional Uyghur culture and are tightly controlled.

截止目前,全村共判刑177人,其中31人为2014-2016年判刑。今年以来判刑146人,收教83人。判刑、收教两项合计260人。判刑人员涉及家庭153户,亲属851人,收教人员涉及家庭75户,亲属321人。一体化联合作战平台推送143人,已判刑63人,另案收押9人,收教53人,担保18人(其中妇女12人,丈夫已经判刑或收押;学生3人;教师1人;年龄在65岁以上的2人)。2017年通过“揭挖铲”打掉团伙3个,其中暴恐团伙1个,宗教极端思想团伙2个,查明涉案人员118人。据我们摸排调查,目前全村514户村民中,没有直系亲属判刑或收教的农户只有70户,325人。

To date, 177 people in the village have been sentenced, of whom 31 were between 2014-2016. This year, 146 have been sentenced, and 83 sent for reeducation. The total number of sentenced and reeducation people together is 260. 153 households are implicated among the sentenced, a total of 851 relatives; 75 households are implicated among the reeducated, a total of 321 relatives. The Integrated Joint Operations Platform pushed [i.e. recommended, in an algorithmic sense] 143 people, [of whom] 63 have already been sentenced, 9 detained for other cases, 53 sent for reeducation, and 18 guaranteed** (12 women with husbands detained or in reeducation, three students, one teacher, and two over the age of 65). Three gangs were disposed of in 2017 through the "expose, dig out, unroot" [policy/campaign], one a terrorist group, and two religious extremist groups; 118 were investigated as a part of these cases. Per our thorough surveys, at present, of the 514 households in the village, only 70—325 people—do not have an immediate relative already sentenced or in reeducation.

* Integrated Joint Operations Platform (一体化联合作战平台): a data aggregation and analytics system that includes a phone app used by authorities in Xinjiang. Human Rights Watch reverse-engineered the app in 2019, finding that it serves "three broad functions: collecting personal information, reporting on activities or circumstances deemed suspicious, and prompting investigations of people the system flags as problematic." ("China’s Algorithms of Repression: Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App," page 2). ** This is a legal term of art I have seen in the context of debt and credit law, but not for persons. Without additional research, I assume it is some sort of probationary measure that perhaps involves another person vouching that the individual in question will not commit further offenses. Given the people described in the parenthetical, it seems to be used for people who are less of a threat in the eyes of the state and for whom a degree of lenience is granted.

[Omitting a less relevant section about Party building/recruitment efforts]

(三)围绕判刑收教人员亲属帮教转化,开展形势多样的群众工作。 针对该村判刑和收教人数众多(约占全村总人口的11.3%,涉及亲属约占全村85%)的现状,加之群众思想教育工作历史欠账多,宗教极端思想、影响、

(3) Centering on the conversion of relatives of sentenced and enrolled persons to help and educate, carry out various mass work. Given the large number of sentenced and religious people in the village (approximately 11.3% of the total village population, implicated relatives making up approximately 85% of the village), coupled with the historical debts of mass ideological education work, religious extreme thoughts, influence, [the remainder of the report is hidden after this point].

Authenticity of this report

I have three hypothesis regarding the origin and authenticity of this document:

1) It is a pro forma mockup about as useful as a ghostwritten school paper you can buy off the Internet 2) It is largely accurate, but key details and figures were changed, making it useless as a source 3) It is a completely or almost completely accurate copy of a report filed by an actual work team

Given the length of the report—over 8000 characters in full—it seems very unlikely that someone would type it up for the sake of just getting access to credits for another report. A generic report like that would presumably have a lot more filler language as well, and not go into such detail about so many specific policy measures. As mentioned in the introduction, the website screens for content copied from the web so that it doesn't pay for already-free material, so I assume this was not copied from somewhere online. Thus, I view hypothesis 1 as highly unlikely.

Hypothesis 2 is certainly possible, but it would seem to be unnecessary for the writer/submitter, as the website states it will hide sensitive information. The website may have altered the figures, but the fact that it left enough information to easily identify the village (see below), strongly suggests this is not the case either.

Hypothesis 3 is by far the most likely. There is a plausible provenance story: we know that hundreds of thousands of cadres are dispatched to Xinjiang, and work teams in villages are common. We know they report their work; some of them, for instance, have unauthorizedly publicized these reports (like the one I translated here). Someone within a work team or otherwise with access to the document had another report to write (as this report and others notes, cadres dispatched to Xinjiang temporarily are often from very random work units, like banks) back at their old job, or for a different kind of report required of cadres stationed in village work teams, so they uploaded this report to get credits from the website and save themselves time.

Policy details in the report are consistent with other, verifiable descriptions of Party policy in Xinjiang, as noted in the various footnotes in the translation above, so whoever wrote this is familiar with Xinjiang policy and the behavior of cadres sent to the region. This all strongly suggests the document is genuine. It is far from absolute proof, but I am ultimately confident enough to have spent the time translating it.

Identification of the village

Although the village name is redacted, the number 13 that consistently appears after it in the text make it easy to identify and. The numbering system is evidently used to disambiguate places with similar or identical names. Sources like this construction bid in the Xinjiang Daily from January 29, 2019 show that Village 13 in Beshkent is called Quma (库玛), strongly suggesting it is this village (and sure enough, it's not the only Quma village—an identically named one exists in Hanerik Town, Hotan County). In addition, there is a cached article on a Xinjiang government website about Land and Resources Department work team in Quma, Yarkand, written October 1, 2017, so we know such a work team operated there in the timeframe of this report.

While I did not find specific population figures, the report states that the village is "3km from the seat of the town", and a quick look with Baidu Maps shows the distance between Baidu's coordinates for Beshkent proper (transliterated here with the initial character 白 instead of 伯) and Quma as 2.7km.

image