Database Entry: The architecture of repression: Unpacking Xinjiang’s governance
Surveillance Civilian Informants

The architecture of repression: Unpacking Xinjiang’s governance

October 19, 2021
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In the first months of the Re-education Campaign, the neighbourhoods’ grids were further divided into micro-units made up of 10 households. This hyper-local version of grid management is known as ‘ten-household joint defence’ (十户联防).

By late 2018, Xinjiang reportedly had more than 60,000 joint households. A ‘joint household manager’ (联户长), also known as a ‘ten households manager’ (十户长), receives official training in collecting intelligence, handling potential re-education camp detainees, delivering propaganda lectures, directing daily anti-terror drills and arranging labour assignments. They’re financially rewarded based on their performance.

Within the police and intelligence network at the grassroots, there are also informants (信息员). While one Ürümqi Party School journal article claims the informants report to the joint-household manager, police reports indicate that the neighbourhood informants, who are referred to as a series of letters and numbers (for example, DX18-2-80) answer directly to the secret police—formally known as the Domestic Security Bureau (国保)—who serve in the local police station.