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In the mid-1980s, China's leaders, perceiving the emergence of an "ideological vacuum" among the populace, caused mainly by the official downplaying of politics in national life since the Cultural Revolution, launched a campaign to build "socialist spiritual civilization"170 across the country. The purpose was to create a spiritual counterpart to China's already fairly well developed "material civilization," the national infrastructure and the economy. Since in Chinese the words for "spiritual" and "mental" are the same, the new movement was also an attempt to expand "mental civilization," and thus had important implications for the field of mental health work. In October 1986 in Shanghai, the ministries of health, civil affairs and public security convened the country's Second National Conference on Mental Hygiene Work, the first national-level meeting of this kind in almost thirty years.171 The main item on the agenda was the sharp increase in the rate of mental illness among China's population in recent years: since the 1970s, the rate was said to have risen from seven per thousand members of the population to as many as 10.54 per thousand.172 The level of violent crime in society was also rising rapidly, and China's severe lack of healthcare facilities for the mentally ill was identified as a major causal factor.

In April 1987, the three concerned ministries drew up a list of proposals designed to address these problems. According to the resulting policy document, "An especially urgent need is for the public security organs immediately to set up institutions for the custody and treatment of mentally ill people who break the law and create disastrous incidents... Owing to the lack of management over the mentally ill, many of them are spread over society at large and they create endless disastrous incidents that pose a very serious threat."173 The ministries' main policy recommendations were threefold: first, to speed up the passage of a national mental health law; second, to further develop forensic appraisals work; and third, to establish a national network of police-run centers for the custody and treatment of severely mentally ill offenders. Further important meetings swiftly followed. In June the same year, the First National Academic Symposium on Forensic Psychiatry was held in the southern city of Hangzhou, and in December, the First National Public Security Conference on Custody and Treatment of the Mentally Ill took place in Tianjin.174

At some point in the course of these meetings, it was officially decided that the name "Ankang," meaning "Peace and Health," would be used as a uniform designation for the proposed new network of custodial facilities for mentally ill offenders. In December 1987, the Ministry of Public Security formed a National Ankang Work Coordinating Group, one of whose deputy chairmen was Wang Guiyue, director of the Tianjin Ankang facility and recent founder of a "stereotactic brain surgery" unit there.175 A small number of institutions for the criminally insane had already been in existence in China for many years; known locations include Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Dalian and Jilin Province. After the April 1987 conference decision, however, moves to establish institutions of this type elsewhere proceeded apace, and by May of the following year, a total of sixteen Ankang centers had been established and brought into service. A series of guiding documents were then drawn up by local public security authorities, including the "Administration Methods for Ankang Hospitals," "Detailed Implementation Rules for Nursing Work in Ankang Hospitals" and "Rules for the Admission and Treatment of Mentally Ill People Who Seriously Endanger Public Security."176 By 1992, the total number of such institutions had risen to twenty, with several others under construction.177 According to one source, large Ankang centers can accommodate around 1,000 inmates;178 the Tianjin facility, however, is now believed to have around twice that capacity. According to another official source, the average length of stay for mentally ill offenders in the Ankang system is five and a half years, with some inmates being held for as long as twenty years.179 The government's eventual goal is to establish one Ankang center for every city in China with a population of one million or above.180

The institutional model for the new Ankang forensic-psychiatric regime set up in China after 1987 was the Shanghai Municipal Hospital for Custody and Treatment of the Mentally Ill, which had been first established in May 1985.181 This institute, now known as the Shanghai Ankang, is located in the same part of the city that previously housed "Jiangwan No. 5," the scene of Mr. C's ordeal during the Cultural Revolution; indeed, it is highly probable that they are one and the same place. In April 1986, the Shanghai government took the national lead by promulgating a detailed set of regulations for the compulsory hospitalization of mentally ill people who "create incidents or disasters" (zhaoshi zhaohuo).182 These regulations are still the most specific thus far issued in China on the crucial procedural matter of how mentally ill offenders actually get admitted to Ankang care: expert forensic psychiatric appraisal of the detainee was to be performed, but once a finding of legal non-imputability had been made, the public security authorities were then accorded complete authority to issue the necessary paperwork for compulsory psychiatric admission; the courts had no visible role in the process.183 Shortly thereafter, municipal and provincial governments elsewhere in China, including Tianjin and Guangdong, issued similar sets of regulations.184

Specific criteria outlining the various types and categories of mentally ill offenders who are to be compulsorily admitted to Ankang can be found in several published sources in China. These criteria vary slightly from source to source, but the most complete and exhaustive version appears in an official encyclopedia of police work published in 1990. The encyclopedia begins by explaining the three main types of people who are to be taken into police psychiatric custody:

The first are those commonly known as "romantic maniacs" [hua fengzi],185 who roam around the streets, grab food and drink from others, expose themselves naked, or look unkempt and disheveled, and so have an adverse effect on social decorum.

The second are those commonly known as "political maniacs" [zhengzhi fengzi], who shout reactionary slogans, write reactionary banners and reactionary letters, make anti-government speeches in public, and express opinions on important domestic and international affairs.

The third are those commonly known as "aggressive maniacs" [wu fengzi], who beat and curse people, pursue women, elderly people and children, smash up public property, commit murder or arson, or who otherwise endanger people's lives and the safety of property.

The encyclopedia then lists the following more specific and operational criteria for dealing with mentally ill people falling within the three categories:186

The public security organs have primary responsibility for the management and treatment of the following five kinds of severely mentally ill persons, all of whom pose a relatively grave threat to social order:

· Persons carrying knives who commit violent or injurious acts; those who are suicidal; and those who commit arson or other acts that seriously disturb social order, with definite consequences.

· Persons who disrupt the normal work of Party and government offices or who disrupt normal work and production in enterprises, scientific and educational institutions, thereby posing a danger.

· Persons who frequently expose themselves naked, or otherwise harm social morals, in busy crowded areas or in public places.

· Persons who shout reactionary slogans, or who stick up or distribute reactionary banners and leaflets, thereby exerting an undesirable political influence.187

· Mentally ill people who drift in from other areas and disrupt the public order of society.

· Upon encountering any of these five types of people, the public security organs are to take them into custody for treatment.188

Finally, the police encyclopedia adds, "The taking of mentally ill people into custody is especially important during major public festivals and when foreign guests arrive for visits, and it should be appropriately reinforced at such times."189 For our present purposes, the most important categories of alleged mentally ill people listed above as being targets for Ankang-style custody and treatment are, first, "political maniacs," namely those displaying "dangerously" political dissident-like behavior, including "expressing opinions on important domestic and international affairs"; and second, those accused of disrupting "the normal work of Party and government offices," since in practice this category is often taken to include the kinds of persistent petitioners and complainants whom the police regard as suffering from "litigious mania." As mentioned earlier, most countries need to maintain institutions for the criminally insane in order to protect the public from genuinely dangerous psychotic offenders. At least in the modern era, however, few countries have ever regarded the above-mentioned types of mentally ill people as being legitimate targets for forced psychiatric custody. The former Soviet Union was the most prominent such country, and to the extent that it now follows a similar set of practices, China's recently established Ankang system appears to be performing a role much the same as that of the Soviet Interior Ministry-run "Special Psychiatric Hospitals," which were used to incarcerate, in a medically unjustifiable way, hundreds and possibly thousands of peaceful Soviet dissidents.

Owing to the highly secretive nature of these institutions, little is known about the conditions of detention and treatment currently found within them. One first-hand account of conditions at the Shanghai facility on the eve of its transformation into an Ankang center, however, painted a disturbing picture of widespread fear among the inmates arising from the frequent resort by warders and nursing staff to various abusive methods of punishment. The account, which was written by a female dissident and former political prisoner who had been placed in the Shanghai facility in early 1987 and which contained case details of several other "political maniacs" held there at the time, reads in part as follows:

The only difference between [prison and this hospital] was that the two used different methods of punishment. The instruments of punishment in prison were common handcuffs, whereas the hospital used medical appliances...

If patients were disobedient in the hospital, the doctors would increase their medication. Besides eating, they only felt like sleeping, and often suffered from cramps. This is not a civilian hospital that you can leave in three or five months. There, three or five years was considered to be a short time. Moreover, you had to work for seven hours a day. Those who were on more medication dribbled saliva constantly. Their eyes often rolled upwards helplessly in their sockets. They walked slowly and stumbled frequently.

If such and such a person was to be punished, her bed would be taken to the area between the dining hall and the workshop, and she would be tied by her four limbs to the bed by straps looped through the metal bed frame. In this way the nurses could supervise her from morning till night. In the daytime during working hours the dormitory was locked. Sometimes two people could be punished at once. During the daytime when everyone was working, we looked at the women's hands and feet tied to the bed. We all kept silent, lowered our heads and carried on working. In the evening when we returned to the dormitory, we would watch the bed carried away, and see the empty space where it had stood. A cold shiver would go through your heart. You didn't know when it would be your turn. Maybe you would be punished because the doctors discovered you had smuggled a letter out to some visitors, or maybe because you had had an argument with the doctors or nurses. When they wanted to punish someone, the alarm outside the dormitory (in the dining room) would sound and several police would arrive at once, and tie you to the bed.

Another kind [of punishment] was injections. One kind was muscular injection and the other intravenous, which was much more painful. I saw some patients after intravenous injections, whose tongues were so swollen they bulged out of their mouths. After a few days of injections, their facial muscles were all stiff, their eyes fixed and staring. Their faces were like waxwork masks -- they couldn't turn their heads and would have to slowly turn their whole body if they wanted to look at something.

Yet another kind of punishment was acupuncture with an electric current. The patients called it the "electric ant."190 It uses electrically controlled acupuncture needles. There are three levels of current. The higher the current, the more painful, and the degree of pain also depends on the particular acupuncture points used. There is the taiyang point (on the temple), hegu (also known as "hukou," on the palm of the hand between the thumb and the index finger) and the heart point on the sole of the foot. The people who have suffered this say the heart point on the sole of the foot is the most painful. In civilian hospitals, when a patient is subjected to electric shock treatment it is forbidden to let the other patients watch, but in this [kind of] place, treatment was no longer about curing illness and saving peoples' lives. It had become the penal code the doctors used to maintain control. When they wanted to punish someone, they would make all the patients stand around her bed, while the patient twitched in agony and pitifully cried, " I won't do it next time... I won't do it again, please let me go..." After it was over, the nurses admonished all the other patients that whoever violated the rules next would suffer the same treatment as her. Everyone would lower their heads, fearing that their faces had turned pale.191

The most recent confirmed case of a political dissident being sent to the Shanghai Ankang facility is that of Li Da, a young worker at an electrical appliances firm in the city who had apparently been involved in the May 1989 pro-democracy movement. On three separate occasions, prior to his arrest in July 1998, he stood outside the Shanghai No. 1 Department Store handing out leaflets calling for the rehabilitation of victims of the June 4, 1989 government crackdown, for greater political democracy in China, and for the right to commemorate Taiwan National Day. Li's case was briefly reported on by Voice of America in February of the following year, on the basis of a letter he had smuggled out of the Shanghai Ankang facility. There has been no further news about him since.

Another account, this time involving a fatality at the Ankang facility in Beijing, suggests that staff violence against inmates was still commonplace in institutions of this type at least as late as 1993. In March that year, as part of China's bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games, a delegation from the International Olympic Committee arrived in Beijing to inspect the city' sporting and other facilities. Over the preceding few weeks, among other preparations designed to enhance China's chances of winning its bid for the games, the Beijing authorities had removed large numbers of homeless, indigent or mentally ill people from the streets of the city and shipped them out of town either to their original place of residence or to temporary holding centers, and in the case of mentally ill targets of this "cleanup" operation, the Beijing Ankang center was apparently also used for this purpose. One such person was a 41-year old mentally retarded man named Wang Chaoru, who lived with his parents in the southern part of the city. According to a detailed account of Wang's case that was subsequently written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the Beijing correspondents of the New York Times during that period, a policeman arrived at the family's door, accompanied by a woman named Zhang from the local Street Committee, two days before the IOC delegation's arrival in Beijing:

The policeman wanted to take Wang away, but the retarded man began shrieking his protests. So the policeman and Zhang left. The next morning, Zhang returned, this time with two policemen. They had no arrest warrant, no detention warrant, and they didn't suggest that Wang had broken any law or endangered anybody. They didn't give any reason for wanting to take him away, but they insisted that he had to leave with them. "I don't want to go," Wang cried out in fear. "Mama, Papa!" He raced to the corner of the big bed, shielding his head with his arms. His parents knew that it would be futile to resist, so they watched helplessly as the two policemen dragged away their terrified son. Wang had reason to be frightened. A year earlier, as part of their efforts to beautify Beijing in preparation for the annual session of the National People's Congress, the police had taken him to a sanatorium on the outskirts of Beijing and beaten him to a pulp. A few days later, they drove him to the Temple of Heaven, where they deposited him in a wounded clump at the front gate. It took Wang two hours of walking to find his way home.

As the Olympic delegation toured Beijing's sports facilities on March 7, Wang's parents waited anxiously for news about their son. Two days later, shortly after dawn,

A police car came to pick them up, but the police officer said that only one of the parents could go. The parents, now desperate with worry, imagining their son beaten bloody, perhaps even in a coma, insisted that they both go. The police backed down and drove them out to Fangshan, a hospital closely associated with the Public Security Bureau... When they arrived, the police took the parents into an office that was bare except for several chairs and a table. "The person has died," an officer informed them matter-of-factly. "We have inspected the body." Wang Shanqin and An Yulian were devastated. They felt responsible for their son, who had depended on them. He had pleaded with them to let him stay, yet they had allowed the police to take him away.

Wang's father demanded to see the body, and he and his wife were then led down a long corridor to the hospital's morgue. Later, the couple described to the foreign journalists what they found on arrival:

"There was blood all over his face," the father recalled slowly and hesitantly, like a man fighting with himself, negotiating between his desire to tell the world and the pain of remembering. "His hair was all red with blood. His lips were cut up, and his eyes - they were pierced, as if they had burst open and then swollen shut." ... In his back, there was a big hole. Someone must have stuck a police baton into his back, boring it into the flesh. And his behind was all bruised" ... "The back of my son's legs," he continued, as he rubbed his hands under his kneecaps, "had these huge bumps, these swellings. I told them I wanted to sue, and you know what they said? `You'll never win.' On the day we cremated him, they gave me a bag with 5,000 yuan in it. They didn't say what the money was for."192

The Beijing Public Security Bureau has a close organizational affiliation with only two hospitals in the capital: one is the Binhe Penal Hospital, located until recently within the grounds of the Beijing No. 1 Municipal Prison (this facility was torn down and relocated about five years ago); the other is the Beijing PSB Ankang Institute for the Custody and Treatment of the Mentally Ill, which is located in Fangshan District, a suburban area to the southwest of the city.193 Even today, very few foreigners living in China have ever heard of the name "Ankang," so it is unsurprising that the authors of the above account did not specifically identify the place of Wang Chaoru's death as being the Beijing Ankang facility. But that is undoubtedly where he died.

170 Shehuizhuyi jingshen wenming.

171 The first one had been held in 1958.

172 According to a website run by the Beijing Institute of Forensic Medicine and Science (Beijing Shi Fating Kexue Jishu Jianding Yanjiusuo), the rate of mental illness among China's population currently stands at 13.47 per thousand. See

173 "Weisheng Bu, Minzheng Bu, Gong'an Bu Guanyu Jiaqiang Jingshen Weisheng Gongzuo de Yijian (Opinion of the Ministries of Health, Civil Affairs and Public Security on the Strengthening of Mental Health Work)," April 20, 1987, in Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Weisheng Fagui Huibian 1986-1988 (PRC Compilation of Laws and Regulations on Health, 1986-1988), (Law Publishing House, June 1990), pp.366-369.

174 This latter meeting was held at the Tianjin Public Security Bureau's Custody and Treatment Center for the Mentally Ill, which was shortly thereafter renamed as the Tianjin Ankang institute. Since that time, "national academic conferences on the custody and treatment of the mentally ill," attended mainly by practicing forensic psychiatrists, have been convened in various Chinese cities approximately every two years; the first, for example, was in Wuhan in May 1988 (see Renmin Gong'an Bao [People's Public Security News], May 20, 1988), and the third was in Hangzhou in October 1990 (see Hangzhou Ribao [Hangzhou Daily], October 24, 1990.)

175 Renmin Gong'an Bao, May 24, 1988, p.1. A report two years later in the same newspaper confirmed the independent observer's account, cited above, of the establishment of a high-technology lobotomy unit at the Tianjin Ankang facility ("Gong'an Xitong Jingshenbing Guan-Zhi Gongzuo Chengxiao Xianzhu [Public Security System's Work of Custody and Treatment of the Mentally Ill Achieves Conspicuous Results]," Renmin Gong'an Bao, May 18, 1990, p.1).

176 These regulations are mentioned in Renmin Gong'an Bao, May 18, 1990; however, no actual copies of the documents have as yet come to light.

177 Long Qingchun, ed., Sifa Jingshen Yixue Jianding Zixun Jieda, p.152. The twenty places having Ankang facilities as of 1992 were the cities of Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Dalian, Tangshan, Wuhan, Xi'an, Suzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Hefei, Fuzhou, Ningbo, Jinhua and Shaoxing; and also Heilongjiang Province, Jilin Province, Ningxia Autonomous Region, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (city locations for the latter four are unknown). As of late 1999, the total number of Ankang facilities was reportedly still twenty (Zheng Zhanpei et al., "Woguo Sifa Jingshenbingxue Jianding Gongzuo de Xianzhuang ji Zhanwang [Present Situation and Future Prospects of China's Judicial Psychiatric Appraisals Work]," Chinese Journal of Psychiatry, vol.32, no.4 [1999], p.201).

178 Lin Huai, Jingshen Jibing Huanzhe Xingshi Zeren Nengli He Yiliao Jianhu Cuoshi, pp. 54-55.

179 Gu Xiangdong et al., "Shehui Jineng Xunlian Dui 32 Li Zhuyuan Manxing Jingshenfenliezheng Huanzhe de Liaoxiao Guancha (An Examination of the Efficacy of Social Skills Training for 32 Chronic Schizophrenic Patients)," Chinese Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, vol. 20, no. 2, pp.85-87.

180 Renmin Gong'an Bao, May 24, 1988, p.1.

181 The Chinese name for this institute was "Shanghai Shi Jingshenbing Guan-Zhi Yiyuan." In 1987, it was renamed "Shanghai Shi Gong'an Ju Ankang Jingshenbing Guan-Zhi Yuan" (Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau Ankang Institute for the Custody and Treatment of the Mentally Ill). The same wording is now used (after substitution of the specific city or province name in question) as a uniform designation for all the various Ankang centers in China.

182 "Shanghai Shi Jianhu Zhiliao Guanli Zhaoshi Zhaohuo Jingshenbingren Tiaoli (Shanghai Municipal Regulations on the Guardianship, Treatment and Management of Mentally Ill People Who Create Incidents or Disasters)," promulgated on August 29, 1986, in Shanghai Gong'an Nianjian, 1988 (Shanghai Public Security Yearbook, 1988), (Shanghai Social Sciences Publishing House [volume marked: "for internal distribution only"], December 1988), pp.343-346. The regulations came into force on October 1 the same year.

183 An argument that the courts should be given a leading role in this process is made in Lin Huai, Jingshen Jibing Huanzhe Xingshi Zeren Nengli He Yiliao Jianhu Cuoshi, pp.53-54.

184 See "Tianjin Shi Shouzhi Guanli Weihai Shehui Zhi'an Jingshenbingren Banfa (Tianjin Municipal Methods for the Shelter and Management of Mentally Ill People Who Endanger Public Order)," undated and unpublished document on file with the author; and "Guangdong Sheng Shourong Anzhi Zhaohuo Zhaoshi Jingshenbingren Zanxing Banfa (Guangdong Provincial Temporary Methods for the Shelter and Settlement of Mentally Ill People Who Create Disasters or Incidents)," issued by the Guangdong Provincial People's Government on January 17, 1990, in Guangdong Sheng Fagui Guizhang Huibian (A Compilation of Guangdong Provincial Laws, Regulations and Rules [January 1989-December 1990]), edited and published by the Office of the Guangdong Provincial People's Government, pp.275-276.

185 The term "hua fengzi" (literally: "flower crazies") is a euphemistic one whose broad meaning encompasses aspects of the English terms "hippy," "nutcase," and "sex maniac"; however, it does not have the often violent or non-consensual overtones of the latter term.

186 Another important category of persons liable to be sent to Ankang facilities is those who develop "prison psychoses" of various kinds (as discussed above) during their confinement in regular prisons. The incidence of this type of mental illness has apparently risen sharply in China in recent years. One significant subgroup of such sufferers is reportedly those sentenced to death and awaiting execution; if the stress and anxiety of impending execution leads them to become mentally ill, they are regarded as "incompetent to undergo punishment" and are then placed in Ankang custody for treatment until they become sane enough to be executed. Moreover, prisoners who stage hunger strikes in jail are often regarded as suffering from a subtype of this particular illness and are therefore also sent to Ankang centers for secure psychiatric treatment.

187 "Huhan fandong kouhao, zhangtie sanfa fandong biaoyu, chuandan, zaocheng buliang zhengzhi yingxiangde."

188 Zhongguo Gong'an Baike Quanshu (China Encyclopedia of Public Security), (Jilin People's Publishing House, February 1990), p.1964. A similar set of criteria for enforcing police custody of the mentally ill is listed in Zeng Wenyou et al., ed., Jing Guan Bi Du (Essential Reading for Police Officials), (Police Officials Publishing House, Beijing, October 1992), (volume marked "for internal circulation only"), p.163. A more readily accessible source, giving roughly the same kinds of guidelines and discussing the role and purposes of the Ankang system more generally, is Liu Dechao, "Dui Weihai Shehui Zhi'an de Jingshenbingren de Chuli (On the Handling of Mentally Ill People Who Endanger the Public Order of Society)," Xiandai Faxue (Modern Jurisprudence), no. 2 (1990), pp.69-71. Finally, a 1996 book states that the various criteria for compulsory Ankang admissions were first formulated at the First National Public Security Conference on Custody and Treatment of the Mentally Ill, held in Tianjin in December 1987. See Lin Huai, Jingshen Jibing Huanzhe Xingshi Zeren Nengli He Yiliao Jianhu Cuoshi, p.111.

189 The rounding-up by police of mentally ill citizens in advance of important public events and visits by foreign dignitaries was also a highly characteristic feature of political psychiatry in the former Soviet Union.

190 The treatment method of electric acupuncture, which is in widespread use in China (and is found also as an "alternative" therapy in many other countries nowadays) is to be differentiated from the use of ECT. When properly administered, electric acupuncture has no ethically abusive connotations. Like many other legitimate medical treatments, however, electric acupuncture can, as the above account indicates, be misused for purposes of inflicting pain and punishment.

191 Handwritten account circulated to various human rights groups in 1995; the writer cannot presently be identified for reasons of personal safety. According to the account, the ward in which she was placed held twenty women, three of whom were political dissidents of various kinds. Moreover, "[inmates] convicted of murder were allowed to talk freely together, but political prisoners were not permitted to do the same." The reason why one of the three dissidents had been admitted was, according to the same account, as follows: "She had gone onto the streets to make a speech protesting about the high increase in the cost of living. She said that skyrocketing prices had made people's lives worse, and that political corruption nowadays meant officials made a fortune through their official posts, something that could not have happened in Mao Zedong's day."

192 Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power (Random House, 1994), p.98. The authorities' version of Wang's death was as follows: "`The police said that my son had died on the night of the sixth,' [said the father.] That was just hours before the Olympic delegation arrived. `They said he went mad and died on the streets. That's impossible! When they said that, I yelled at the policemen. They were just too inhumane. How could they hate my son so much?'"

193 A detailed official description of the organization and functions of the Beijing Ankang facility can be found in Lin Huai, Jingshen Jibing Huanzhe Xingshi Zeren Nengli He Yiliao Jianhu Cuoshi, pp.111-116; the account was written by Zhang Hu, a leading forensic psychiatrist who formerly worked at the Harbin No. 1 Special Hospital (Ha'erbin Shi Diyi Zhuanke Yiyuan) and for the past ten years or so has been based at the Beijing Ankang institute. In his article, Zhang said that the Beijing Ankang is divided into three parts: a closed and highly secure zone (fengbi qu), where all new admissions are placed; a semi-open zone, holding around half of the inmates; and an open zone, mainly devoted to work-therapy activities, where inmates scheduled for release are held. According to Zhang, the facility is run "fully in accordance with humanitarian principles," although he also acknowledges that "many problems remain to be solved." In his view, Ankang centers should primarily be places of treatment, rather than detention or punishment: "If the reverse were true, so that the medical objectives became secondary, and the principal purpose was simply to lock up the patients and keep them in custody, then it would be wrong, and the nature and aims of Ankang hospitals would no longer be the same" (Ibid., p.113). Another description of the Ankang regime can be found in Li Congpei, Sifa Jingshenbingxue, pp.385-386.

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