Image: voa/reuters updated by @tibettruth
Have you wondered why the issue of Tibet seems to have dropped off of the media radar? There has over the past few years been a remarkable silence, broken occasionally by reports of self-immolation protests. Yet increasingly the information coming out appears to have reduced dramatically. There’s one man who could offer an explanation, but he’s something of a biased participant. Mr Chen Quanguo the communist Chinese party (CCP) official directly responsible for imposing a mass surveillance system and ruthless police-state in occupied Tibet, and more recently within so-called Xinjiang (East Turkistan). Like this Chinese regime mobile facial recognition center below.
This communist Chinese regime psychopath, formerly Party Secretary (2011-2016) in the Tibetan region known as U-Tsang, devised a strategy of control that divided Tibet using a grid-system. Into each was established Chinese police stations at regular intervals across the entire region which formed an inter-locked, inescapable security presence. He also organized, through bribery and intimidation Tibetan households to spy on each other. This was assigned the euphemism of the “double-linked household management system.”
These draconian measures were not enough for Quanguo, he also throttled and distorted the flow of information, cracking down on relatively independent news sources, replacing them with media outlets loyal to the CCP. He transformed ‘Tibetan’ TV new channels into 24/7 conduits for Chinese regime propaganda. Anyone having satellite television was required, by fear of prison, torture and forced labor, to have only a reception fixed to channels approved by the authorities.
From what information which has emerged by the end of 2016, Quanguo had built over 700 police stations, which are called ‘convenience police stations,’ and created 81,140 ‘double-linked households’ that monitored around three million Tibetans.
With a seemingly limitless budget, he vastly increased the number of Chinese ‘police’ in occupied Tibet and played a key role in the introduction and expansion of technological surveillance which has added to the infrastructure of daily oppression and fear experienced by Tibetans. CCTV now monitors virtually every street, roads, public space in towns across occupied Tibet. This has been augmented recently by the implementation of facial-recognition systems, engineered, installed and maintained by Chinese tech-corporations such as Huawei, Sense Time, CIMC and Tencent Technology (which enjoy fruitful commercial and research relations with western companies and institutions such as MIT).
Below selected Tibetans pose for the launch of a facial recognition system in local banks in downtown Lhasa. Notice what looks like a Master Card logo on the cash-machine?
Such disturbing surveillance is being enhanced by a program of bio-metric identity cards forced upon Tibetans. Without which the meager support (housing rights, fuel or food supplies) offered by the occupying Chinese authorities is withheld. Meanwhile, the internet, social media and cellphone apps such as Tik-Tok are monitored and censor any mention of human rights, Tibet or the Dalai Lama.
Having successfully engineered complete and effective totalitarian control over the Tibetan population Quanguo was appointed to target a similar system of oppression and surveillance against the people in neighboring East Turkistan (so-called Xinjiang). Which he is presently realizing, having criminalized Uyghur culture and identity, forced countless thousands into concentration camps and detained huge numbers of infants within indoctrination centers. While the potential of big-data, AI and facial-recognition systems is discussed across western media, some regarding the expanding technology as offering positive social opportunities, Chen Quanguo and his thuggish comrades within the CCP have reminded the wider-world of the very genuine dangers such advances present.
Having taken office in occupied East Turkistan Chen Quangou has applied all the lessons of surveillance and oppression from his time in occupied Tibet to target and suppress Uyghurs. Facial recognition cameras (circled) in the city of Kashgar.
Apart from violating basic freedom such as the right-to-privacy, the unique bio-data of an individual, monitored, recorded and stolen by the hands of tyrannical regimes such as China’s enables greater restrictions and supervision. Eroding civil and political rights while empowering the capacity of a government to impose an increasing spiral of oppressive social, economic and political controls.