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IV. Abuses against Petitioners at the Local Level

The petitioners interviewed for this report told Human Rights Watch of long and arduous journeys in which they sought redress for abuses by local officials. Many of their five, ten or fifteen-year journeys on the petitioning path that led them to Beijing began when they decided to take a stand against some village or township official. 

Facing down threats of violence and retaliation, these petitioners said, they took their appeals to police, the courts, and other government bureaus, but failed to obtain results. Pursuing their appeals up the hierarchy, some spent all their own and their extended families’ savings, and suffered beatings and detentions by police and thugs hired by local officials who aimed to deter them. Each abuse was cause for a new petition; for a few, the original injustice was gradually buried in the series of abuses that followed it. “We have no hope, we are in despair, but we will continue to petition,” said the mother of a young man who died in police custody.76

This report focuses largely on what happens to petitioners after they arrive in Beijing. But much more petitioning actually happens at the provincial level, and can lead to a series of violations of due process and retaliatory attacks that drives petitioners to take their complaints to the national capital. This section surveys some of the incidents that start them on their long journeys.

The growing numbers of petitioners in Beijing are an indicator of problems with the lack of official accountability at the local level in China. In the landmark 2004 survey by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in 2004, CASS surveyed 632 petitioners and reported that 84.5 percent of those interviewed began by petitioning about cadre corruption; 69.6 percent about village governments using excessive force to exact fees and taxes; 67.5 percent about election fraud resulting in the infringement of people’s democratic rights; 73.2 percent about land appropriation by the government; and 56.2 percent about the beating or arrest of petitioner activists by the government (multiple reasons for writing petitions were allowed).77

All the petitioners we interviewed had attempted to pursue their cases at the local and provincial levels, either through complaints procedures or through the court systems. They reported that their cases were mishandled, refused by the courts, or that if decisions were made in their favor, they were not enforced. Ultimately, all said they believed they had no other recourse but to take their complaints to Beijing.

The cases documented by Human Rights Watch fell into the following categories:

  • Police abuse and official violence, including threats, beatings, or murders coordinated by local officials;
  • Official corruption, including fraudulent investment schemes, embezzlement, graft, and illegal taxation;
  • Urban forced evictions and rural forced resettlement by officials in league with developers;
  • Failure of the courts and other dispute resolution mechanisms; and
  • Retaliation and reprisals by local officials.

Police Abuse and Other Official Violence

Most of the petitioners who spoke with Human Rights Watch reported abuses by the local police, including torture and beatings.78 In some cases these abuses were the reason the original petition was filed. For example, a Heilongjiang petitioner reported that police tortured him to force him to sign a confession.79 An ethnic Hui man from Ningxia said that after he was detained in Xinjiang, police incited other detainees to beat him.80 Two unrelated couples from Shandong both began petitioning after the death of their sons in police custody.81

The belief that local police covered up crimes against them impelled a number of petitioners.82 For instance, a Shandong couple believe that police covered up the cause of their son’s death and did away with his body.83

Some of the longest petitioning sagas begin with acts of violence that villagers alleged were orchestrated by officials in an attempt to silence them. In three cases, petitioners interviewed by Human Rights Watch alleged murders or attempted murders coordinated by village officials.84 

Ming, a petitioner from Shanxi who lives in the Beijing petitioners’ village with his eleven-year-old son, said that when he raised public concerns about attempts by the Party secretary of his village to take on multiple conflicting government positions, the Party secretary ordered him killed:

At 7:00 p.m. on January 31, 2002, five or six people went to my house. They brought an iron hammer. They came in and said nothing. They weren’t from our village, I’d never seen them before, they were thugs. 

First they hit my wife and my younger brother’s wife in the head with an iron hammer. They were coming for me, but they didn’t know who they were dealing with. My brother hit [one attacker] over the head with a chair, and then when the chair broke he beat him to death with the chair leg….

The kids were crying, they were terrified. This boy here was especially frightened, he was clinging to the door and crying.85

Zhang said that despite years of complaints, local police refused to investigate the case.

Similarly, Mao, a Henan man, told us that his petition began in 1999 after the village Party deputy secretary had his father murdered. Mao’s father had been petitioning for nineteen years over a land claim. According to Mao:

They killed him with a hoe, they hit him in the back of the head. They also hit my mother and my sister. My sister fought back, and killed the attacker. So she was sentenced to five years in prison. This was all arranged by the village deputy Party secretary. I thought this was not fair treatment for my sister, so I’ve been petitioning for many years.86

Mao said that as a result of his petitioning activities, he had also experienced multiple detentions and beatings.

In recent years, senior Chinese officials have acknowledged that police misconduct is a widespread problem, and in some areas police have been fired en masse for persistent reports of torture or corruption. In January 2004, official media announced that nearly 35,000 police had been fired: nearly 11,000 for “sub-standard work,” and 34,000 others for lack of proper credentials.87 In May 2004, the Ministry of Public Security announced a year-long plan to reopen all reported cases of abuse. The investigation was to be conducted by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in Beijing and was to include five types of crimes, including dereliction of duty causing great loss of people’s lives and assets, illegal investigation and detention, evidence collection through violent means, inquisition by torture and abuse of prisoners. These initiatives have successfully made the issue of ending police abuse one of national prominence, but they fall short of the systemic reforms needed to end police abuse.


Thirty of the forty-nine petitioners whose cases were collected for this report began by petitioning about some form of official corruption.88

The allegations of corruption cases documented by Human Rights Watch ranged from fraud by government-run businesses, as in the case of a former bank manager who claims the bank misappropriated funds and charged him with the crime;89 to cases where petitioners allege that police were bribed to not investigate crimes against their relatives.

Some cases, such as those of victims of alleged fraudulent government investment schemes, have become mass petitions involving hundreds of petitioners. For instance, in one case, 1,500 investors, many of them senior citizens, signed letters saying that they bought plots in a Beijing cemetery that was never constructed.90 Approximately one thousand investors are petitioning in the case of a futures firm partly owned by Li Xiaoyong, son of former premier Li Peng. The company collapsed in 1998. Investors allege that Li Xiaoyong absconded with the funds, and that government officials executed a Taiwanese owner of the firm, while covering up the role of the premier’s son.91

A Liaoning man told Human Rights Watch that after his mother was injured in a traffic accident, the responsible driver bribed police to alter photographic evidence.92 A Henan woman reported that police took bribes to free the men who gang-raped her.93

In other cases, farmers from Henan and Hebei have petitioned to the national level about their infection with HIV through state-run blood collection centers, demanding government assistance.94 One activist reported that in 2004 he had accompanied petitioners infected with HIV through state-run blood collection centers to file complaints more than twenty times.95

Forced Eviction and Resettlement

Evictions in urban areas, often undertaken by force and with minimal compensation, have become a problem that affects tens of thousands of residents in Chinese cities.96 Many farmers have also been forcibly resettled because of land seizures by officials working with developers, or to make way for large-scale infrastructure projects such as the Three Gorges Dam.97 Some of the largest and most visible protests by petitioners in Beijing have related to forced eviction cases.

Pei, from Liaoning, said that after her family lost a lawsuit to prevent their eviction from their home, over fifty people showed up in the middle of the night with a bulldozer and knocked down the house, injuring her mother and brother who were asleep inside:

They gave us no warning at all! They just came in and did it and chased us out. All our things were demolished inside the house….My mother had a weak heart, and when it happened she had a heart attack. My brother was hit in the nose and passed out.98

In the past three years, there have been growing conflicts between petitioners from Shanghai who were forcibly evicted from their homes and local authorities, with police arresting petitioners as they were about to get on the train to Beijing on several occasions.99

Many petitions begin when farmland is seized by developers working with local officials. These conflicts can also escalate into violent confrontations.100 Human Rights Watch met with two delegations of farmers from a town on the periphery of Beijing. The farmers, who said they represented all the residents in their village, claim that county officials illegally seized their lands and created what they said was a false contract for the lease of the lands.101 

Failure of the Courts and Other Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

While in recent years there has been a great deal of discussion and even excitement in some quarters about the development of the Chinese legal system and the rule of law, the court system still does not function for the poor and less powerful members of Chinese society. The fact that the courts usually do not offer an avenue for justice––and are widely seen as a futile avenue for complaints against officials by the Chinese public––are a major reason for the proliferation of petitions. In a functional legal system, many of these cases would be directed to and resolved by the court system.

The systematic lack of fair trials in China has led to a widespread lack of faith in the court system. Some petitioners said they did not even attempt to take their cases to court because they did not believe they would get a fair hearing. As one petitioner put it, “There’s no reason in the courts, they are not reasonable there.”102

There are three straightforward reasons why so many people choose to file petitions:

  • petitions are free to file;
  • there is no need for specialized legal knowledge, as anyone can write a petition, while some legal knowledge is necessary to draft a complaint to be filed with the local court; and
  • petitioning gives, at least at first blush, the impression of being more time efficient.

Before coming to Beijing, all the petitioners interviewed by Human Rights Watch said they had attempted to get redress for their injuries through the local government by filing complaints with the local police bureau or by filing suit in local, county or provincial courts. All those interviewed reported frustration and disappointment with these mechanisms, which they described as flawed due to corruption and political interference by officials acting on behalf of colleagues in the Communist Party. The lack of independent mechanisms that can provide redress at the local level drives many to take their cases to Beijing. As one farmer said:

If you have money, you can put a stop to [abuse by officials], but there is no government procedure that will deal with it.103

Several petitioners reported that courts refused to accept cases that were “too sensitive.”104 A farmer from a town in Beijing municipality whose land was seized by officials said:

The local court won’t accept the case. I also went to the [municipal] Land Management Bureau because they’re in charge of this, and they said that they can sue people, but that they will not. [They said that] the local government has to take care of it, and we can’t reach them with our lawsuits.105

Another petitioner said:

I looked for a lawyer, but some of them were afraid to take on the case….In China, lawyers have no power, they’re useless. Some of them have good relations with the government, and others are afraid—you open their mouth to them, and they run away.106

For other petitioners who came from impoverished rural regions, the cost of hiring a lawyer was prohibitive.107 While the Chinese government has established a nascent legal aid program, the Ministry of Justice acknowledges that the demand for legal aid currently far exceeds what existing legal aid centers can provide.108

Despite these obstacles, some petitioners said that they had succeeded in filing suits, but that they were not satisfied with the way the courts decided their cases and believed there were political reasons for this.109 For instance, one petitioner said she believed that the court decided against her—she had sued to stop authorities from forcibly evicting her from her home—as a result of pressure by Party officials with connections to real estate developers.110

Others believe their trials were flawed. Mr. and Mrs. Du, who sued in Shandong courts over their son’s death in police custody, said that police had made no record of their son’s death, and as his corpse had been destroyed by police, the family could present no evidence other than photographs of his battered corpse. As a result, the court dismissed the suit. Mrs. Du said:

We are Chinese people, we should be able to resolve this through our own Chinese court system, and we shouldn’t have to go to [human rights groups] outside our own country. But do you call this law? What kind of legal system is this? I don’t care about money, no amount of compensation will bring back our son’s life….I want justice.111

Each petitioner interviewed by Human Rights Watch who had obtained a favorable court decision reported that the decision was not enforced.112 Said one, “I sued all the way up, the decisions were all in my favor, and the bank acknowledged their fault…[but] none of the decisions were enforced.”113

Many petitioners expressed frustration with a court system that is subject to interference at every level by Party officials. As Chinese activist Li Jian summed up to a reporter:

The judiciary is tied up with the interests of local governments….This has two effects. One is that you’re not going to get a fair hearing. The other is that the judiciary will not act. Most of the petitioners you meet in Beijing are there because they tried to take their cases through the local courts but met with failure.114

Chinese government agencies offer other complaint mechanisms, including petitions offices at the local, county and provincial levels of government agencies. In many cases, complaint mechanisms are formalized. In rural regions, complaints may also be filed informally by visiting an official’s office and asking him to look into the case.

Several petitioners said that when they tried to report violence by local officials or the local police, the police, and procuratorates flatly refused to look into the cases. For instance, one petitioner reported that the procuratorate in Beijing, which is tasked with handling complaints of police abuse, refused to accept her complaint that Beijing police used excessive force during her arrest at a demonstration in Tiananmen Square.115

The most common complaint was that local government agencies took down complaints of official abuse and never acted on them. Said one longtime petitioner who reported that his family had been attacked by a thug hired by local officials:

We went to the city police, the city government, and the county police, everyone. I did it for two years and no one cared. Nothing happened.116

In other cases, petitioners said that one government office or official would pass the responsibility on to another one (zhuanban, or “transfer it to be managed”) indefinitely.117 Yu, a petitioner, said that he ultimately decided that it was hopeless to try to get one official in his town to hold another accountable:

The county mayor, the deputy mayor of the township, and the mayor of the township are all friends. That’s how [this corrupt local official] is protected. He has good connections with all of them, and there’s nothing we can do.118

National and local petitioning regulations commonly require petitions cases to be handled at the local level.119 But when the local government office is staffed by only a handful of officials, this is unlikely to lead to results. In fact, some petitioners said, the agencies with which they filed their petitions or complaints actually referred the complaint back to the official who had committed the original abuse, asking him to investigate himself. Yu, one of a group of villagers who had filed numerous complaints about an illegal land seizure by local officials and who had had this experience, told Human Rights Watch:

We have a saying, guanguan xianghu––officials take care of each other….If you complain, they will arrest you, or they will just send the case back down [to the abusive official].120

Retaliation and Reprisals for Local Complaints

Those who complain about local abuses to other government authorities may not only be disappointed by the mishandling of the case. They then also face the risk of abuse and retaliation, including threats and beatings by police and officials who wish to silence the complainant.

A group of farmers from a village under the jurisdiction of Beijing municipality is typical in this regard. The group became embroiled in a series of complaints and retaliatory abuses that began when local officials sold their land without their consent in order to develop a fishery. Several villagers said that after one of the farmers sued to stop officials seizing her land, she disappeared:

She went home at night, and ten minutes later, her husband followed her and she was gone. There was a big rainstorm that night, and she vanished. The police took her husband away on suspicion, but they let him go….They have looked for her everywhere, and her husband is still suing, but there is nothing he can do, because there is no proof that anything happened to her.121

After further conflicts with the official who sold their land, the villagers occupied the land and blocked off the road. In return, they said, town officials hired a gang of armed thugs to frighten them off:

They were not people from our village, they were from outside, we didn’t recognize them. They brought big sticks, over one meter long each, each person had a stick….We [the villagers] called the police, and the police came, and the villagers ran away [as the police and thugs were working together]. We had tents with blankets and beds, and they tore down the tents and destroyed all the stuff that was inside them.122

The villagers attempted to complain to local police, but said that police refused to follow up on the incident. The villagers then signed an open letter to higher-ranking government officials describing the incident. This in turn led to further retaliation:

We gave [the letter] to someone in the government, and he was supposed to preserve confidentiality….But he photocopied it and gave it to [the local official who was the target of the original lawsuit]. So on May 18, [one of the farmers] went to talk to the deputy mayor of the town. He admitted that photocopies had been made, but then he beat her up. She went to the hospital, we have proof. She was beaten on the shoulder, lower back and hips, and on the head.123

Commented another farmer from the town in Beijing’s suburbs:

Don’t forget that this man is a Communist Party official, and he is not permitted to beat people….So we petitioned to the Beijing municipal Public Security Bureau and the Beijing municipal government.124

However, another farmer from the same town said that raising the complaint to the level of the municipal government did not lead to a resolution either:

They just sent it back and said that the local government should handle it….They said that the place where this happens is the place where it should be dealt with.125

A farmer from a neighboring village reported a similar case. Land was sold off without compensation, he said, and when villagers complained to higher authorities, they were threatened by thugs; police refused to register their complaint as well.126

In other cases, petitioners told Human Rights Watch that they had been beaten by police in order to dissuade them from complaining about police abuse. Ou, a petitioner who said that her brother died in police custody, had this account:

The doctors…saw that he had bruising on the arms and around the neck. They asked the police to keep the body, but they didn’t. It disappeared. The police wouldn’t report the case of my brother’s death. They must have buried it, it couldn’t have disappeared.

My mother went to the Public Security Bureau to complain about it and they twisted and broke her arm and beat her. She was fifty-six at the time…She went to the county hospital, which said that her arm was fine. They didn’t dare to admit her. So she had to go to the local clinic where she lied about what had happened to her. She told them that she fell over. Then they fixed it. She is still in so much pain.127

Other officials threatened other forms of retaliation. Pei, who sued to try to stop the forced eviction of her family, said:

I sued to the local court and to the county court. They decided against me, so I appealed to the district court. They threw out my appeal. My brother lived at the government work unit, and they threatened me: ‘If you don’t stop appealing, we’ll fire your brother.’128

The May 1, 2005 regulations explicitly ban retaliation against petitioners. Article 3 of the Regulations on Letters and Visits states that, “No organization or individual may retaliate against letter-writers or visitors.”129 Article 46 of the same regulations stipulates:

Whoever retaliates against a letter-writer or visitor, thus constituting a crime, shall be investigated for criminal liability according to law; if the act is not serious enough to constitute a crime, he shall be given an administrative or disciplinary sanction according to law.130

The Chinese constitution also guarantees citizens the right to “criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary,” and stipulates that:

No one may suppress such complaints, charges and exposures, or retaliate against the citizens making them. Citizens who have suffered losses through infringement of their civil rights by any state organ or functionary have the right to compensation in accordance with the law.131

However, from the accounts of those interviewed, it is clear that retaliation is a serious problem and that many Chinese citizens fear retaliation if they dare to report or protest against abuse. It is equally clear that the Chinese state has done little to protect its citizens from retaliation.

Because retaliation has a devastating impact on the individuals, their families, and the broader community, if an official receives credible information that any other official may have behaved in an abusive manner, it is imperative that the state arrange for a thorough investigation by an independent qualified person or office, protect the alleged victim and potential witnesses during the course of the investigation, and, if it is determined that abuse has occurred, punish the official or police officer appropriately.

[76] Human Rights Watch interview with Mrs. Du, petitioner, Beijing, 2005.

[77] Jianrong, "Xinfang Zhidu Pipan (Critique of the Petition System)."

[78] Case materials collected from Er, Shan, Zhu, Jie, Gong, Feng, Wen, Mr. and Mrs. Lee, and Mr. and Mrs. Du, Beijing, 2004.

[79] Human Rights Watch interview with Feng, Beijing, 2005.

[80] Human Rights Watch interview with Gong, Beijing, 2005.

[81] Human Rights Watch interviews with Mr. and Mrs. Gao and with Mr. and Mrs. Du, Beijing, 2005.

[82] Human Rights Watch interviews with Ren, Hu, Jiang, and Ou, Beijing, 2005; materials submitted by Xu, Yang, Ao, and Mo, Beijing, 2004.

[83] Human Rights Watch interview with Mr. and Mrs. Du, Beijing, 2005.

[84] Human Rights Watch interviews with Mao, Ming, and Mr. and Mrs. Jiang, Beijing, 2005.

[85] Human Rights Watch interview with Ming, Beijing, 2005.

[86] Human Rights Watch interview with Mao, Beijing, 2005.

[87] “China dismisses over 30,000 unqualified policemen in clean-up campaign,” Xinhua News Agency, January 7, 2004.

[88] Human Rights Watch interviews with Qing, Feng, Kang, Ren, Ming, Qi, Mao, Ai, Bao, Cai, Hua, Jiang, Ou, Pei, as well as a delegation of twelve petitioners from a village near Beijing, Beijing, 2005; also case materials collected from Tang, Bai, Chen, and Dai, Beijing 2004.

[89] Human Rights Watch interview with Li, petitioner, Beijing, 2005. Documents from his case on file at Human Rights Watch.

[90] Dossier of documents on file at Human Rights Watch include a registry of names of victims, written statements, brochures and advertisements for the cemetery, certificates and receipts for the purchase of plots, etc.

[91] “Angry Chinese protestors call on Li Peng to pay back their money,” Agence France Presse, January 16, 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Ai and Bao, petitioners, Beijing, 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with Zhou, lawyer, Beijing, 2005.

[92] Human Rights Watch interview with Hu, Beijing, 2005.

[93] Human Rights Watch interview with Qi, Beijing, 2005.

[94] Human Rights Watch interview with Zhou, Beijing, 2005; Human Rights Watch e-mail correspondence with Song, AIDS activist, Beijing, 2005. For more on the blood scandal in Henan and elsewhere in China, see Human Rights Watch, “Locked Doors: The Human Rights of People Living with HIV/AIDS in China”, A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 15, no. 7(C), August 2003, available at

[95] Human Rights Watch e-mail communication with Song, 2005.

[96] For more on forced evictions, see Human Rights Watch, “Demolished: Forced Evictions and The Tenants’ Rights Movement In China”, A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 16, no. 4(C), March 2004, available at

[97] For more on forced resettlement for the Three Gorges Dam, see Human Rights Watch / Asia, “The Three Gorges Dam in China: Forced resettlement, suppression of dissent, and labor rights concerns”, A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 7, no. 2, February 1995, available at

[98] Human Rights Watch interview with Pei, Beijing, 2005. For more on the problem of forced evictions in urban China, see Human Rights Watch, “Demolished: Forced Evictions and The Tenants’ Rights Movement In China”, A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 16, no. 4(C), March 2004, available at

[99] “Retaliatory detentions of Shanghai petitioners,” Human Rights in China, July 19, 2005 [online], (retrieved November 25, 2005); “Petitioners protest attempted prosecution,” Human Rights in China, June 28, 2005 [online], (retrieved November 25, 2005; “Petitioners assaulted as police discourage Beijing influx,” Human Rights in China, June 27, 2005 [online], (retrieved November 25, 2005); see also Human Rights Watch, “Demolished: Forced Evictions and The Tenants’ Rights Movement In China”, A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 16, no. 4(C), March 2004, available at

[100] Human Rights Watch interview with Feng, Mao, Beijing, 2005; materials submitted by Dai, Beijing, 2004.

[101] Human Rights Watch interviews with twelve farmers, Beijing, 2005.

[102] Human Rights Watch interview with Cai, Beijing, 2005.

[103] Human Rights Watch interview with Yu, Beijing, 2005.

[104] Human Rights Watch interviews with Hua, Yuan, Pei, Bao and Ai, Beijing, 2005.

[105] Human Rights Watch interview with Yu, Beijing, 2005.

[106] Human Rights Watch interview with Hua, Beijing, 2005.

[107] Human Rights Watch interview with Cai, Beijing, 2005.

[108] According to China’s Ministry of Justice, “It is estimated that more 700,000 cases need legal aid every year in our country, but actually less than one fourth have got aid. The other [difficulty] is the severe shortage of legal aid fund. Legal aid fund appropriated by the state for each person is less than 6 cents each year, which is far below the average level of the developing countries. ”Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China, “Survey on Chinese Legal Aid System” [online], (retrieved July 23, 2005).

[109] Human Rights Watch interviews with Hua, Pei, and Ren, Beijing, 2005.

[110] Human Rights Watch interview with Pei, Beijing, 2005.

[111] Human Rights Watch interview with Mrs. Du, Beijing, 2005.

[112] Human Rights Watch interviews with Qi, Jiang and Qing, Beijing, 2005.

[113] Human Rights Watch interview with Qing, Beijing, 2005.

[114] “China charges petitioner who tried to march on Tiananmen Square,” Radio Free Asia, June 24, 2005 [online], (retrieved July 22, 2005).

[115] Human Rights Watch interview with Ai, Beijing, 2005.

[116] Human Rights Watch interview with Ming, Beijing, 2005.

[117] Human Rights Watch interviews with Yu, Jiang, Ming, Beijing, 2005.

[118] Human Rights Watch interview with Yu, Beijing, 2005.

[119] Minzner, “Xinfang: An Alternative to the Formal Chinese Legal System,” Stanford Journal of International Law, (publication pending).

[120] Human Rights Watch interview with Yu, Beijing, 2005.

[121] Human Rights Watch interview with Wang, Beijing, 2005.

[122] Human Rights Watch interview with Yu, Beijing, 2005.

[123] Human Rights Watch interview with Rong, Beijing, 2005.

[124] Human Rights Watch interview with Wang, Beijing, 2005.

[125] Human Rights Watch interview with Yu, Beijing, 2005.

[126] Human Rights Watch interview with Ya, Beijing, 2005.

[127] Human Rights Watch interview with Ou, Beijing, 2005.

[128] Human Rights Watch interview with Pei, Beijing, 2005. A “work unit” or danwei is a government compound comprising the offices of a certain department and apartments for staff who work in that office.

[129] Article 3, Regulations on Letters and Visits, 2005 [Xinfang tiaoli].

[130] Ibid., Article 46.

[131] Article 41, “Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (Adopted on December 4, 1982)”,, [online] (retrieved November 25, 2005).

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