Concrete detention numbers from a village work cadre

Verifiability/reliability: Moderate, from a personal account with demonstrable evidence of cadre work in Xinjiang, but with some numerical errors

This August 2018 WeChat post, discovered by Timothy Grose, is called "Keketikan Village, Maikit County Village Revitalization Plan (2018–2020) (麦盖提县科克提坎村乡村振兴规划 ( 2018年-2020年 ) ." (Keketikan is the Mandarin transliteration of the Uyghur name). It has since been deleted (archived here), but the account that posted, Ling Zhifei (凌志飞) it is still very active and has nearly 100 other posts. The post shows that in this particular village, almost one-fourth of Uyghur adults had been detained, reeducated, or otherwise imprisoned during the Strike Hard campaign.

Our protagonist himself, Mr. Ling.
Our protagonist himself, Mr. Ling.

Ling is a cadre of some sort stationed in Keketikan as part of a village work team with the Party. He was sent to the village by the Organization Department of the CCP in mid-2016 and has been posting with lots of pictures since then. And poems. Very quaint. Most of the posts on the account are written by him, but some others make appearances in reposts, such as Kong Qingshan (孔青山), the first secretary of the work group for the village.

Ling's first post, showing a village study session on ethnic unity
Ling's first post, showing a village study session on ethnic unity

The post that I’ve partially translated below is basically a recap of the progress made by the work team that year in poverty alleviation in the village, including various minor infrastructure projects like road paving and sewer system upgrades. My strong suspicion is based on the extensive graphs and charts it is a draft of the official reports cadres certainly have to send in from time to time; while definitely not classified, it was probably never meant for public consumption, which is why it goes into specific detention numbers (and quickly was taken down). (Recall that while the Chinese government vigorously denies detention figures in the million-plus range, it does not publicize anything about the scale/numbers itself.)

The original post is long and not particularly thrilling unless you're really into small-scale civil engineering projects, so I have just translated the part about numbers below. Really, there's only one paragraph that sums up what matters. In the village:

💬

There are 624 people in 165 households, with Uyghurs representing 100% of the population. 133 villagers were born in the 80s, 65 in the 90s, and 75 in the 2000s. 9 are college students, 55 junior high students, 87 elementary school students, and 45 in preschool. There is one mosque and two religious figures. 41 people have been sentenced since the [start of] the Strike Hard campaign, 50 detained, and 12 [sent to] transformation through education [i.e. reeducation camps].

That works out to 103 taken away out of 624 villagers, or approximately 16.5%. If we subtract minors in school, that works out to an absolutely insane 23.5% of Uyghur adults taken away in this village. For context, the Strike Hard campaign (the most recent one, that is—they go back all the way to at least the 90s) began in mid-2014. What is peculiar here is that a relatively small number have been sent to reeducation camps, and 50 are simply classified as 'detained’ (收押). This is often a euphemism for reeducation, so the distinction here is notable. I won't speculate on the subtleties here, though; the point remains the same.

Finally: note that there are a few typos or other discrepancies (denoted like this), most noticeably between paragraphs I and II, wherein the first sentences are strangely duplicated, except the population of the village is 627 in paragraph II, not 624. If I had to guess, it'd be either a) just a lazy typo or b) because they copy-pasted from a previous report (I think it’s fair to assume these type of progress reports are a regular requirement) and just forgot to change the numbers. From what I can tell based on Ling’s posts—though I haven’t read all of them—there are not that many village work team cadres in Keketikan, so he may well have written it himself.

一、规划发展的基础 

Basis for Planning and Development

(一)人员的基本情况:科克提坎村距央塔克乡政府10公里,与央塔克乡团结村、愚公村、解放村和45团9连相连,辖3个村民小组,165户624人,维吾尔族占总人口的100%,;全村“80”人员133人,“90”人员65人,“00后”75人,大学生9人,初高中学生55人,小学生87人,学前教育45人。有清真寺1座,宗教人士2人,严打以来判刑人员41人、收押50人教育转化12人;贫困户38户145人(中稳定脱贫6户28人);自治区派驻2人,驻村工作队5人、村两委班子5人、小队长3人、十户长10人,党员25人(1名预备党员,2人已判刑,已向乡党委报告开除党籍),团员18名,“四老人员”1名。

I. Basic population situation: Keketikan is 10 km. away from the seat of Yantaq Township. It is connected to Yantaq's Tuanjie Village, Yugong Village, Jiefang Village,* and the 45th Regiment, 9th Company [of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps' 3rd Division], and it has jurisdiction over three villager groups. There are 624 people in 165 households, with Uyghurs representing 100% of the population. 133 villagers were born in the 80s, 65 in the 90s, and 75 in the 2000s. 9 are college students, 55 junior high students, 87 elementary school students, and 45 in preschool. There is one mosque and two religious figures. 41 people have been sentenced since the [start of] the Strike Hard campaign, 50 detained, and 12 [sent to] transformation through education. There are 133 people across 38 households in poverty (28 people in six households have reliably escaped poverty). There are two people dispatched by the Autonomous Region, five members of the village work team, five cadres in the two committees, three sub-team leaders, 10 10-Household leaders, 25 Party members (one soon-to-be Party member, and two already sentenced; reports to the Township Party Commitee to expel them have been made), 18 Corps members, and one 'Four Elderlies' member.**

* These are really unusual village names—literally, "solidarity", "foolish old man" (presumably from a well known phrase about a foolish old man who is able to move an entire mountain thanks to his perseverance), and "liberation." There's a lot of weird ones like them in Yantaq; the Xinjiang Daily has a construction bid for ground leveling in Yantaq's "Vanguard Village" (先锋村), "Victory Village" (胜利村), "Red Star Village" (红星村), and "Highly Able Village" (精干村), among others. Needless to say, these are not native Uyghur names. If I had to guess, they are ones constructed or taken over by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC, see Wikipedia for more info). ** Two committees refers to the CCP Party Brach Committee and the Village Committee; 10-Household United Defense (十户联防) is a method of social management/control for which there is not a whole lot of reporting on; the Four Elderlies are certain people (veterans, for instance) over 65 entitled to additional welfare benefits.

(二)地域的基本情况:科克提坎村距央塔克乡政府10公里,与央塔克乡团结村、愚公村、解放村和45团9连相连,辖3个村民小组,165户627人,全部为维吾尔族;耕地2753亩(其中荒地710亩、承包地1685亩、积累田359亩),人均耕地面积2.7亩;2017年复核后贫困户人数38户145人(其中稳定脱贫6户28人、应纳未纳新增4户17人)贫困发生率在23%,贫困发生率超过20%被定为深度贫困村,根据自治区2017年深度脱贫攻坚计划,科克提坎村定为深度贫困村,脱贫年限为2018年,计划脱贫32户117人。

II. Basic geographic situation: Keketikan is 10 km away from the seat of Yantaq Township. It is connected to Yantaq's Tuanjie Village, Yugong Village, Jiefang Village, and the 9th Company of the 45th Regiment [of the XPCC], and it has jurisdiction over three villager groups. There are 627 people in 165 households, all of whom are Uyghur. There are 2753 mu of arable land (710 uncultivated, 1685 contracted, and 359 accumulated ), an average of 2.7 mu of arable area per person.* Following review in 2017, 145 people across 38 households were in poverty (28 people in six households have reliably escaped poverty, and 17 people in four households have since fallen into poverty but were not originally counted), a poverty rate of 23%. A village with a poverty rate exceeding 20% is defined as deeply impoverished. According to the Autonomous Region's 2017 Deep Poverty Relief Concentrated Plan, Keketikan is a deeply impoverished village, the deadline for poverty relief is 2018, and 117 people across 32 households [are] planned to be lifted from poverty.

* I'm not sure what 'accumulated land' is; it seems to be some form of public ownership setup. Second, 2.7 x 627 people = 1693 mu, so I'm guessing the 2.7 is rounded from like 2.69 or something and refers to contracted land, but that's just a guess.

(三)贫困户口的基本情况:贫困户共计38户,145人,其中3户28人稳定脱贫,32户117人(1人4月份去世)。其中有劳动能力47人,发展生产一批9人;转移就业38人(转移疆外就业2人,县内乡外4人、乡内村外11人,村内16人;其中政府购买服务创造就业岗位协警2人、计划生育宣传员1人、护草员2人、护林员5人、保洁员1人;其他方式就业5人(经信委组织的疆内转移)

III. The basic situation of impoverished households: There are 38 impoverished households, a total of 145 people, of which 28 people in 3 households have reliably escaped poverty, [a total] of 117 people in 32 households (one person passed away in April). 47 of these are capable of work, 9 are in a development production group, 38 have been transferred (2 outside of the province, 4 within the county but outside the township, 11 within the township but outside the village, and 16 within the village. This includes Government service contract-based employement positions [i.e. government jobs outsourced to non-government (per Chinese government description) units]: two auxiliary police, one family planning promoter, two grasslands rangers, five forest rangers, one sanitation worker, and five others (transferred within Xinjiang via the Economic and Informatization Commission).