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China Pushes Forward with Plan to Implement ‘Mass Policing’ in Local Communities, Reports Radio Free Asia

China is moving forward with its plans to transfer local law enforcement from police stations to neighborhood “grids.” These grids will be monitored and enforced by teams of local volunteers and vigilantes, who will encourage residents to inform on one another. This new directive comes after a March Public Security Ministry directive to integrate police stations into “grassroots social governance.” Authorities are starting to merge local police stations and lay off auxiliary police officers to outsource much of their daily work to neighborhood officials and local militias. The grid management system divides neighborhoods into a grid with 15-20 households per square. Authorities have also recruited “grid officers” to find out everything about residents in their small square of the “grid.” The shift is being made for two reasons – to cut costs and to implement new neighborhood policing and “stability maintenance,” a system of coercion. China is also expanding “red mass prevention and enforcement” forces and forming partnerships with “social organizations such as vigilantes.” President Xi Jinping recently gave official support to the “grid” system and marked the 60th anniversary of the “Fengqiao experience” with a visit to a number of organizations involved in the expansion of “grassroots social governance.” The Ministry of National Security has also called for “a people’s war to safeguard national security.” This has raised concern of expanding restrictions over society and a form of control. President Xi Jinping wants to digitally control everything and calm people down, instead of mobilizing them, according to independent political scholar Chen Daoyin.

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