(TibetanReview.net, May08’19) – China said May 6 that it was using WeChat to fight “gang crimes” in Tibet, meaning it was being used to report on messages alleged to “spread separatism and create separatist incidents”. Calling it a nationwide tendency to use the advantages of social media to fight crimes, the official globaltimes.cn cited experts as saying using social media will not only help authorities gather evidence but will also make it convenient for residents to report tips.
Citing the regional party mouthpiece Tibet Daily May 6, the report noted that since the beginning of the year, Konjo (Gonjo in Chamdo City?) authorities had gathered more than 2,000 messages through WeChat groups of local villages and neighborhood committees. It said WeChat groups were established as part of the county authorities’ efforts to urge residents to stay away from gangs and illegal organizations.
“Some gangs in the Tibetan region have colluded with the Dalai clique, serving as a base to help the clique spread separatism and create separatist incidents,” Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body, was quoted as saying.
“The Dalai clique is very good at using modern communications channels, including WeChat, to spread separatism,” Zhu has added.
China considers all perceived criticisms of its policies in Tibet, including even advocating the preservation of Tibetan language and culture, separatist crimes.
The report said resident representatives had been selected and were required to report at least one message a day during certain period of time. Local authorities will then confirm these messages and reward the reporters according to the messages’ authenticity, timeliness and value, it added.
The report said other cities and regions in the PRC, including Hefei, East China’s Anhui Province, and Yinzhou district of Ningbo, had also reportedly used WeChat groups to crack down on gang crimes.