Surveillance in China’s Xinjiang Region: Ethnic Sorting, Coercion, and InducementMay 31, 2019
In Xinjiang, individuals have received cash awards and public recognition for speaking Mandarin Chinese in public, limiting their family size, marrying across ethnic lines, de-veiling, living in an ethnically mixed-community, maintaining a modern household, among other acts deemed ‘civilized’, ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’ by Party-state officials. Wavering individuals—Han and Uyghur alike—are told to ‘show one’s colours’ (旗帜鲜明) and warned against the dangers of ‘two-face people’ (两面人) who shirk their responsibility, go through the motions, and fail to resolutely resist the three evil forces.
Take for example, the ‘mass reward and punishment rally’ (奖惩大会) held in Pishan county, Hotan Prefecture in February 2017 following a mass-stabbing incident. At this gathering, which was attended by hundreds of local residents and rebroadcast across local media, local Party secretary Niu Xuexing chastised the three ‘thugs’ who launched this violent attack and those Party cadres who failed to adequately respond. He called on the audience to reflect on this painful lesson in order to ‘foster the correct social atmosphere of collective hatred of our enemies’. He then praised those who bravely confronted this aggression and helped put it down, handing out nearly 1.76 million RBM (USD256,000) in reward money to 36 police officers, ordinary citizens, and other first-responders from a range of different ethnic groups. Following the ceremony, local officials announced a 100 million RMB (USD14.5 million) fund to encourage the dobbing of ‘suspicious’ or ‘two-face’ individuals, and staged a massive anti-terror security rally to ‘show strength and intimidate’.
Along with weekly flag raising and mass oath swearing ceremonies, these public rallies seek to visibly demarcate the line between friend/foe and normal/abnormal, and cajole appropriate attire, behaviour and thought.