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Xi Revives Mao-Era ‘Fengqiao Experience’ to Consolidate Power

{Editor’s note: The “Fengqiao Experience” refers to a practice from China’s Cultural Revolution where masses of citizens would monitor and “reform” those who are labeled as class enemies. In the town of Fengqiao, Zhejiang Province, CCP cadres relied on grassroots mobilization of masses to “reform reactionary elements,” a practice which Mao promoted for nationwide adoption.}

According to China’s CCTV, this year marks 60 years since Mao Zedong promoted implementation of the “Fengqiao Experience” throughout China. On September 20th, Xi Jinping visited the town of Fengqiao, saying that the country must “uphold and develop” the Fengqiao Experience in the new era to “correctly handle internal contradictions” and “solve problems at the grassroots level.”

Xi first mentioned the Fengqiao Experience in 2013, saying that CCP cadres in Fengqiao pioneered the practice of “relying on the people to resolve conflicts on the spot.” He asked cadres to apply “rule of law thinking and rule of law methods” in resolving issues affecting “vital interests of the masses.”

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, exiled Chinese scholar Chen Pokong said that Xi’s reintroduction of the practice shows that Xi must be facing much opposition from within the CCP, and that he is now consolidating power and mobilizing people to fight against his political opponents within the CCP.


Radio Free Asia, September 26, 2023, “Fengqiao” (楓橋)
retrieved 2023-09-28