Wending 稳定


Stability (wending 稳定) is a recurring and crucial term in Chinese official discourse. It means not only social peace and social security, but the absence of dissent, protests, or criticism of the government. This bibliography offers examples of Chinese ethnologists and legal scholars providing theoretical rationals and policy recommendations for mass surveillance, incarceration, and penalties, all in the name of stability.

“Security” is reiterated by government voices as imperative to ensure economic growth and social harmony. Whether it be a unified front of the Politburo in spite of internal conflict or the top-down “Strike-Hard Campaign” (see Glossary) in Xinjiang, stability is an end in itself. Since the Tiananmen incident broke out in Beijing in 1989, the Communist Party of China has asserted itself as the sole provider of socio-economic stability and safety of the masses from the boogeyman of potential “instabilities”, which are often vaguely framed to be foreign forces, ethnic separatism, and terrorism. As such, desires for greater autonomy, academic and press freedom, and political dissent are anathema to those in power who must maintain stability at all costs.

Stability has been one of the foundational state policies in Xinjiang. Since social unrests broke out in the late 1990s in Uyghur regions, former Party secretary Wang Lequan’s slogan “Stability overrides everything” (wending yadao yiqie稳定压倒一切) has been the guiding principle held by various levels of government offices in Xinjiang. The current Party secretary Chen Quanguo’s rallying cry “Without stability, everything is lost” (没有稳定一切皆为零) carried forth such ideology. On the eve of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party in October 2017, Xinjiang became engulfed in unprecedented and ubiquitous surveillance and suppression. Chen applied advanced AI technology to build a provincial police state, including a DNA database, big data analytics, phone scanning software, face-recognition technologies, and much more.

Keywords: 维稳 maintain stability, 反恐怖主义 counterterrorism, 去极端化 deradicalization, 社区网格化管理 community grid style management, 境外势力 foreign forces

Zhang Xuan 张轩 and Du Rong 和杜蓉, 2020

Issues of Understanding that Need Clarification in Xinjiang “De-radicalization” Work

Zhang and Du maintain that customs should be respected but not positioned above the value of national unity, that religion should exist separately from ethnicity, education, and administration, and that insistence on the observation of religious taboos, such as those against eating pork and consuming alcohol, undermines national unity. They conclude that Xinjiang’s specific economic and social conditions are no excuse for violent behaviour, and that the state must combat views that conflicts with its understanding of the situation.

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Shu Hongshui 舒洪水, 2018

On the Necessity and Systematic Construction of Life Imprisonment: From the Perspective of Terrorism, Extremism Criminal Prevention

This article discusses the background of anti-death penalty movement in China and how the appropriate sentence for terrorism and “extremism” should be life imprisonment. It discusses the legal reforms that the Chinese government should undertake and how to operationalize the overall anti-terror framework to best bring about effective changes.

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Ma Dazheng 马大正, 2018

Probe Into the Struggle of De-Extremalization in Xinjiang

Ma Dazheng, Vice President of China’s Borderland and Geography Studies, writes about eradicating extremism, the ideological war against separatism, and developing policies against radicalization. Particularly, he writes about the nature of religious extremism, the failure of the education system to prevent radicalization, and the policies in place to combat the “three forces.”

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Pan Zhiping 潘志平, 2018

Correctly Understand ‘National Self-Determination’ and ‘High Degree of Autonomy’

This article discusses the issues of “ethnic self-determination” and “high degree of autonomy” in relation to Chinese ethnic minorities. It argues that ethnic self-determination will lead to ethnic divisions and the “divisive” call of autonomy in Xinjiang will lead to the breaking up of the Chinese nation.

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Shu Hongshui 舒洪水 and Mao Zhengdong 毛振东, 2017

Cooperation in Anti-Terrorism with Neighboring Countries—Using the Shanghai Cooperative Team’s Perspective

Shu Hongshui and Mao Zhengdong from the Northwest University of Politics and Law argue that China should cooperate with neighboring countries on “anti-terror” measures. Particularly, new agreements with countries such as Russia against the “Three Forces should be developed based on the existing Shanghai model.”

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Chen Mengyuan 陈梦媛, 2017

Construction on the Optimization of Grid-based Management System in Xinjiang

Chen’s article discusses the technological and “management systems” that could optimize government control in Xinjiang to ensure “stability and development.” The article discusses the “need” for such systems to exist, their current deployment in Xinjiang, and further policy improvements.

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Ji Yantao 姬艳涛 and Wei Yin 尹伟, 2016

The Theory and Practice of Anti-Terrorism Community Policing

In an article that was published in the summer of 2016, Chinese policing theorists Ji Yantao and Yin Wei describe the way this turn in policing could be adapted in a Chinese context by emphasizing the need to move to prevention rather than ‘passive reaction’ (被动反应). Ji and Yin argue that this new form of policing should supplement the military-style ‘intervention’ (干预) and ‘harsh punishment and suppression’ (打击和严格的惩罚) that had typified earlier ‘Strike Hard’ (严厉打击) campaigns in Xinjiang. (Summary provided by Darren Byler)

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Li Zhe 立哲, 2016

From the Perspective of Social Stability: Research on the Prevention and Control of Key Population in Xinjiang’s Rural Areas
社会稳定视角下 新疆农村重点人口防治问题研究

The author from Xinjiang’s Yili Normal University argues that “troubled populations” in Xinjiang share similar socioeconomic characteristics such as being male, rural, and religious (Muslim). As such, his policy recommendation for political stability in Xinjiang and to control the ‘targeted population’ is to install more supervisory bureaucrats on the village level and for the state to further regulate everyday religious activities in the region.

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Wang Ding 王定 and Shan Dan 山丹, 2016

Studies on Anti-Terrorism and the Xinjiang Mode

Wang Ding and Shan Dan, theorists in a local Xinjiang police academy, argue that the model of preventative policing that other policing theorists had proposed needed to be adapted in an explicit Xinjiang Mode’ (新疆模式) that would not only transform religion but also lead to a ‘deep fusion’ (深度融合) of Turkic minorities into Chinese culture.

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Xu Jianying 许建英, 2016

Review in History and Current Situation of ‘East Turkistan’ Issue

Xu, from China’s Borderland History and Geography Studies, writes about the historical development of the East Turkistan independence movement. Particularly, the development of the independence movement is framed as a European colonial legacy that later merged with Islamic terrorism. In this frame, the “East Turkistan Issue” is therefore a foreign-inspired movement that China has to combat.

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Shu Hongshui 舒洪水 and Gou Zhen 苟震, 2015

Regarding and Perfecting the Boundaries of Criminal Punishment on Religious Extremist Activities—A Comparison between the ‘Anti-Terror Law (Draft)’ and ‘The Criminal Law Amendment (No. 9)’

Shu Hongshui and Gou Zhen, both from the Northwest University of Politics and Law, argue for legal reforms to criminalize religious extremism. Particularly, in the context of Xinjiang, they link religious extremism with Islam and the East Turkestan independence movement. Their legal analysis focuses on the criminality of religious extremism and the boundaries of criminal laws so that the possession of “religious extremist material” could be criminalized in these reforms.

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Jia Yu 贾宇, 2015

The Current Anti-Terror Criminal Measures in Xinjiang

Jia Yu, President of the Northwest University of Politics and Law, argues that Xinjiang’s strategic, geopolitical importance means that China has to act tough on “anti-terrorism” and “religious extremism.” Further, policies that promote “interaction between the mainland the Xinjiang,” “economic development,” and “cultural education” should be in place to counter terrorism and religious extremism.

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Qiu Yuanyuan 邱媛媛, 2015

Consolidating the Construction of Rural Grassroots Organizations to Maintain Stability in Xinjiang

Qiu’s article argues that grassroots-oriented work like the fanghuiju campaign is essential for achieving stability in Xinjiang. To ensure the efficacy of this work, grassroots cadres and organizations must adhere to the Party’s standards, continue cracking down on illegal religious activities, and successfully carry out rectification work.

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Shu Hongshui 舒洪水, 2015

A Study on Anti-Terrorism Laws in the Xinjiang Region

This article discusses the legal channels and reforms through which China should combat terrorism in the Xinjiang region. In particular, it discusses new legal tools that should be applied against the backdrop of increasing international pressure on China. It advocates for any measures that are effective while keeping western interference low.

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Xie Guiping 谢贵平and Yang Dongping 杨东平, 2015

How to Deal with Home-Grown Terrorism? A Case Study on “East Turkistan” Violent Terrorist Activities

Xie and Yang argue that combating terrorism in Xinjiang has grown difficult thanks to host of factors, including the work of East Turkestan Liberation Organization members outside of China, the meddling of hostile forces in the West, and the global influence of pan-Turkism and pan-Islamism. They propose creating a comprehensive approach that features the creation of anti-terrorism organizations and mechanisms, the implementation of economic reforms, and the dissemination of correct social and religious beliefs, including national identity education and a newly translated version of the Quran.

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Yang Weiwei 杨薇薇, 2015

Operational Research on Restraining the Infiltration of Religious Extremist Thought

Yang Weiwei proposes solutions to Xinjiang’s growing “religious extremism,” which she attributes to foreign influence and the region’s preexisting economic disparities. Along with promoting free and bilingual education to reach young people and including more Muslim minorities in the labour force, Yang calls for a unified, regulated, and state-sanctioned version of Islam that involves reducing the number of mosques in each community.

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Lu Peng 芦鹏 and Cao Xuefei 曹雪飞, 2014

An Analysis on Israel’s War on Terror and Its Implications for China’s War on Terror in Xinjiang— Using the Decision-Making Mechanism of the “National Security Commission” as the Focus

This article published by the National Police University of China discusses the “success story” of Israel’s anti-terror strategies in its planning, execution, information gathering, and propaganda. The authors provide an analysis on the lessons that China can borrow to craft a China-specific anti-terror policy centered around the National Security Commission.

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Zhu Weiqun 朱维群, 2012

Thoughts on Current Issues of Ethnic Minority Regions

This article discusses the “hostile Western forces” that are opposed to a unified, powerful China and how these forces will exploit the ethnic and religious divisions within to subvert China. It touches on the “contradictions” within the notion of ethnicity and religion in China as a result of the profound social changes since the 1990s.

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Song Hongbin 宋红彬 and Zhang Kun 张昆, 2011

On Flow Population Service and Management Against the Background of Anti-Terrorism in Xinjiang

Shu Hongshui and Gou Zhen, both from the Northwest University of Politics and Law, argues for legal reforms to criminalize religious extremism. Particularly, in the context of Xinjiang, they link religious extremism with Islam and the East Turkestan independence movement. Their legal analysis focuses on the criminality of religious extremism and the boundaries of criminal laws so that the possession of “religious extremist material” could be criminalized in these reforms.

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