China extends grassroots surveillance program for ninth year in a row

The sixth batch of “village-based cadre teams” at a ceremony held in Lhasa in November 2016

Chinese authorities have announced the stationing of more than 20,000 cadres in 5,464 villages as part of the controversial ‘Solidify the Foundation, Benefit the Masses’ (Ch: qianji huimin) campaign in TAR.

A ceremony was held in Lhasa on 15 January to introduce the new batch and commend the work of the previous batch of “village-based cadre teams” (Ch: zhucun gongzuodui) in “establishing a solid foundation for stable development at the grassroots level”, reported Xinhua on 16 January.

Running for the ninth year in a row, the program has been used to monitor and surveil local Tibetans, organise anti-Dalai Lama themed political indoctrination campaigns, and entrench and expand the influence of the Party-state in Tibet.

Since October 2011 when the program was started, more than 170,000 cadres from party and government organs, state-owned enterprises, and institutions directly under the central government have been stationed at the grassroots level in TAR. The report said the village-based cadres had “fought hard on the front line, becoming a “connecting bridge” between the Party and the masses”.

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