On November 26, 2018, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau arrested Chen Yufan, a Chinese actor and singer, for drug use and illegal possession of drugs. According to a Chinese media report, a group of common people in Beijing, or Shijingshan District precisely, tipped off the police and made the arrest happen. “This time, it was the Shijingshan masses that provided the clue. They are the new force that has gradually developed in grassroots social governance.”
Chinese media linked the arrest to the “Fengqiao Experience,” which the Chinese Communist Party advocated in recent years as a way to control Chinese society using the Chinese people.
The “Fengqiao Experience” originated during the Mao era over fifty years ago. In 1963 Mao Zedong launched a Socialist Education Movement (社会主义教育运动), also known as the Four Cleanups Movement (四清运动). In Fengqiao district, Zhuji county of Zhejiang Province, the communist cadres, instead of relying on the state and police apparatus, mobilized local people to “reeducate” and “reform” the “reactionary elements,” referring to landlords, wealthy peasants, counterrevolutionaries, and evildoers. Essentially, it was a way of having the Chinese people persecute the Chinese people. On November 20, 1963, Mao Zedong personally promoted the experience in Fengqiao district when he wrote, “The example of Zhuji raised here is a good one — other regions should follow this example, expanding the work through pilot programs.”
The “Fengqiao Experience” reappeared in official discourse starting in the 1990’s. In 2013, the CCP celebrated the 50 anniversary of Mao’s promotion of the “Fengqiao Experience.” Outside observers view it as Beijing’s response to the ever growing social unrest and instability, especially when the economic slowdown has limited the resources available for social control.
Source: The Paper, November 28, 2018