I previously argued that in 2016, Chen immediately hit the ground running, preparing the mass internments through massive police recruitments, the construction of 1000s of police stations, and the expansion of the surveillance apparatus. Internal files support this assessment.
The 5-year plan then logically began with "year one" in 2017: "stabilize" the region. This started the mass internments. The mandate for "year two" of the plan (2018) was to "consolidate" the achievements of the first year, i.e. the mass internments and the crackdown.
"Year three" was supposed to lead to a "normalization" of the resulting state. In fact, in 2019, many lower-security re-education camps were desecuritized. The region showed camps to journalists and boasted that Xinjiang was now "stable." Everything was going according to plan.
In December 2021, precisely at the end of the 5-year plan, Chen Quanguo, an expert for intensive cadre mobilization was replaced with Ma Xingrui, a technocrat with expertise in economic development. That means the most intensive and high-handed phase of the crackdown is now...
...over, and being replaced with a more long-term institutionalized approach. Similarly, in the Nankai Report, Chinese academics described the mass internments as a “drastic short-term measure” that was “absolutely necessary and effective.” jamestown.org/product/coerci…
But Xi Jinping had ordered regional authorities to: “implement practical measures such as expanding the number of employed [staff in detention facilities], enlarging the capacity [of these facilities], and increasing investment [in these facilities] within the set time frame.”
A big thank you to @susanjakes, Jessica Batke, @SegalWilliams for their helpful and very thorough fact-checking and editing of my work. It was a true pleasure to work with you. Thank you. chinafile.com/reporting-opin…
Public Security Minister’s Speech Describes Xi Jinping’s Direction of
An internal Chinese government document provides new support for the extraordinary scale of internment during what was likely its peak in 2018 and 2019. The document, a transcript of an internal Junechinafile.com