Work team stationed in Dunbage

The following is an article ("Work team stationed in Dunbage adopts effective measures to ensure the stability and control of thought in relatives of detainees" [驻墩巴格村工作队采取有效措施切实做好收押等人员亲属思想稳控工作 ]) posted on Meipian, a social media/blogging-ish website, originally cited in Zenz 2018. It has since been taken down; an archived copy is here. As always, a grain of salt in reading social media like this is healthy, but particularly in this case, the pictures add a lot of credibility. If you follow professor Timothy Grose on Twitter, you'll see this type of post is not uncommon on the platform.

This post details the work of a team of cadres as they check in on the families of 127 detained people. Because many of these detainees were apparently the breadwinners, their detention has caused significant economic hardship that the work team attempts to allay through donation of flour. Notable here is the Party's attempt to educate relatives on why their relatives were detained, because it is evidently not at all clear; this tracks with the expansive definition of extremism taken by the Chinese government, wherein routine religious activities such as growing a beard of wearing any form of hijab are taken as evidence of potential radicalization. This issue of not understanding a reason for detention is also something shown in Qiu 2017.


Since the launch of Strike Hard [严打] work this year in Hotan, the Autonomous Region Food and Drug Administration's fanghuiju* teams in Dunbage Village have taken effective measures for thought stability and control work based on the realities of the large number of relatives in the village of those sentenced, detained, and in transformation through education.

* What is fanghuiju? (访惠聚)

访惠聚 fanghuiju is an acronym for 访民情,民生,民心 'visit the people [and their circumstances], benefit the people's lives, bring together the people's heats' (it sounds smoother in Chinese). According to Human Rights Watch: "Fanghuiju teams consist of officials from different agencies who have since 2013 been sent out to villages and local communities for the overarching purpose of “safeguarding social stability. ... During the visits, people are required to provide a range of data about their family, their 'ideological situation,' and relationships with neighbors.”


The first [measure] is strengthening de-extremism work. [The teams] formulated publicity speaking [宣讲] plans, integrated the Monday flag-raising activities, as the village Organization Department, Party members, the four elderlies, college village officials, Communist Youth League branch, and religious figures* demonstrated their patriotism. [They] spoke to relatives of the detained in everyday, easy-to-understand language to help them reach from thought [思想, here ideological thought] a deep acknowledgment of the nature of their relatives' illegal, criminal behavior.

* Who are all those people and groups?

Yeah, good question. I had to look some of them up. The Organization Department of the CCP is like the Party's mega-HR, responsible for conduct regulations, appointments and dismissals, general management, and files and records of all Party members, among other things. It's a notoriously secretive body, though they've tried to change that in recent years. The Four Elderlies I had to look up—basically, cadres, party members, veterans, and other model citizens over the age of 60 in rural areas. Appears to be tied to some sort of pension program? College village officials are a hoot—imagine selling your soul to McKinsey, but, like, it's the Chinese Communist Party, and instead of London or New York or Chicago, you're trapped in a farm county several thousand miles from your hometown. It's for recent graduates to help cultivate a new generation of socialist technocrats to be complicit in cultural genocide, which, if we're being fair, is probably just as bad as some of the shit McKinsey does.



The second [measure] is increasing the intensity of ideological education and guidance. In response to the recent phenomenon that many relatives of detainees coming to the village committee to "demand for people" and "ask for explanations", the task force held an ideological education forum for relatives of detainees in the village on May 7 in conjunction with the "two committees" of the village. Wang Liguang, the first secretary of the village Party branch and the leader of the village work team, explained in simple terms to the relatives of detainees the nature and real harm of illegal religious activities and religious extremism, as well as the policies and measures of the Party and the government to care for and help the families of detainees in difficulty, guiding the family members of detainees to improve their ideological understanding and actively cooperate in helping and teaching.



A third is to investigate [in the sense of 'check in on'] and offer condolences to impoverished households. After ascertaining the social relations of the 127 detainees in the village in detail, the task force visited village cadres in small groups to conduct investigations and surveys on the relatives and families, especially on difficulties for the elderly, sick, and parents without support and minor children, registering in detail the situation of family livestock without feed, giving flour and expressing condolences to 87 impoverished relatives of detainees.



At present, the Autonomous Region Food and Drug Administration's fanghuiju team in Dunbage Village has distributed in three successive batches 4.8 tons of flour to 173 impoverished households and 87 impoverished detainee relatives, ameliorating their basic living problems, providing a material guarantee for their ideological stability.



The family members of detainees repeatedly said that although they had lost labor and life had become difficult, the care and warmth of the work team was like charcoal sent under snow [an idiom referring to a timely offer of help], so that everyone's basic livelihood was ensured, truly serving the poor wholeheartedly. This series of measures have not only dispelled everyone’s ideological concerns, but also enhanced their understanding of the Party’s ethnic and religious policies, laws and regulations. They will actively cooperate in the education and transformation of detainees, and use practical actions to resolutely mark boundaries from religious extremism.


自治区食品药品监督管理局 驻墩巴格村“访惠聚”工作队 刘晓英 2017年5月8日

Autonomous Region Food and Drug Administration Dunbage Village Fanghuiju Work Team — Liu Xiaoying May 8, 2017