Huge army of 'spies' keeps tabs on Chinese
Published 10/02/2010 | 05:00
A Chinese police chief uses more than 12,000 spies to inform on a remote county of just 400,000 people.
Liu Xingchen, the 56 year-old assistant to the head of Kailu County, a farming region in Inner Mongolia, said his vast network of informants meant he could be "very sensitive" to signs of dissent and protest.
In an interview with Xinhua, a government-run news agency, Mr Liu described how he was able to "quickly and accurately discover all sorts of information that might destabilise society".
He said: "Every policeman and auxiliary policeman has to establish at least 20 informants in their community, village, work unit and so on.
"Altogether, these add up to 10,000 spies.
"Then the actual criminal units, the economic crimes unit, the Domestic Security Department, the Public Information Security Supervision and so on will establish a further five 'eyes and ears'.
"At the latest count, our bureau has established 12,093 informants."
The number of spies in Kailu County, extrapolated nationwide, suggests that China has at least 39 million informants or 3pc of its population.
Meanwhile, researchers at the 'China Digital Times' website have translated leaked internal documents that spell out the role of the Domestic Security Department (DSD).
The DSD keeps watch over anyone with "different views from the authorities who insist on expressing them".
"We should persist in putting punishment first; strike and take care of things early," the documents state. (© Daily Telegraph, London)