What’s New in Beijing’s Census Form?

Another round of strict surveillance imposed by authorities in China's capital city
July 1, 2021 Updated: July 5, 2021

Commentary

Beijing authorities distributed a sample of a new census survey on June 15 and residents were notified that it would eventually cover every household and every individual in China’s capital city.

The new survey was sent to around 60,000 people and 240 communities in Beijing. It’s noteworthy that the seventh national census was just carried out a few months ago. There were long and short forms with all the information that the authorities needed to know.

So why is Beijing carrying out another round of household surveillance?

The answer is one word: Fear!

Let’s look at the newly added content of the “Beijing 2021 Population Sample Survey Form” to see who the Chinese regime fears.

Leaders

Under the section “occupation” in Beijing’s census survey, the first item listed is “responsible persons of state organs, party organizations, enterprises, and institutions.”

This indicates that it is the “leaders” who the regime fears the most—the comrades of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The high-ranking CCP members are aware that the officials below them hold evidence of the CCP’s crimes and can use that against the Party. If high-level state secrets leaked out into the public, it could be disastrous for the CCP.

Last month, Xi Jinping led the Politburo Standing Committee and other high-ranking CCP officials to retake the Party admission oath and to pledge allegiance to the Party–“guard Party secrets” and “never betray the Party” were emphasized.

The move came after rumors began to circulate about top security official Dong Jingwei who allegedly defected earlier this year and fled to the United States with his daughter. Overseas Chinese media claim that Dong gave U.S. authorities a large number of top secret documents, which include evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was performing biological warfare research and COVID-19 was caused by a virus that leaked from the lab.

Subsequently, Beijing’s top watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, also issued a notice to all CCP cadres, reiterating the fate of the traitor Gu Shunzhang. Gu was executed in 1934 for betraying the Communist Party and most of his family members were also killed.

The magnitude of warning to cadres shows the extent of the CCP’s fear of being taken down by one of its members.

Citizens Working for International Organizations

Under the section “industry” in Beijing’s census survey, “international organization” is listed.

Epoch Times Photo
Xi Jinping delivers a speech during the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on July 1, 2021. (Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images)

The CCP fears those who work in international organizations in the West because they learn about democracy—such people can see through Beijing’s deceitful propaganda and may become critical of China’s authoritarian regime.

Petitioners

Another newly added section in the survey asks about one’s status in Beijing, including “purpose of coming to Beijing,” “estimated length of stay in Beijing,” and “departure date from the registered place of residence.” It looks a lot like an immigration questionnaire. It’s ridiculous that non-residents and visitors have to register when they arrive in Beijing as if they are going abroad to another country.

This move is meant to identify petitioners–Chinese citizens who have grievances or complaints about local authorities that they wish to bring up to central authorities in Beijing. Some of them are determined to stay in China and fight the CCP to the end, while others want to flee abroad to file a lawsuit.

In addition, because of fear, the CCP holds the personal information of local residents, their house registration, and their relation to the property in Beijing. For example, the “number of people who should be registered in this household” includes those who live in the same residence, the relationship with the head of the household, the location of the household registration, and the place of residence at the time of the survey. In this way, a citizen’s property, household registration, and related persons are interconnected and stored in the same database, making it easy for the authority to locate certain individuals, threaten them, and confiscate their property at will.

It can be seen that the household survey in Beijing at this time is aimed at people who the CCP fear most, and it is necessary to grasp all the information of these individuals in order to carry out strict surveillance.

In order to achieve the goal of “not missing a household or a person,” Beijing has done a lot of work.

Take Shiliuzhuang Street in Fengtai district as an example. The local official media reported that under the guidance of the local police station, the survey worker must go door-to-door to conduct a thorough investigation of the household registration of the residents on the survey list in advance. At the same time, the current data is combined with the relevant data of the seventh national census in 2020.

It can be seen that those who are to be investigated, the number of people to be investigated, and the way the survey is tailored is determined by the CCP’s blacklist and the results of the seventh national census—they are all part of a well-planned exercise to stamp out dissenters.

The Chinese in the mainland are monitored in all directions by high-tech surveillance equipment. Local authorities do not need to visit people door-to-door during the pandemic. So why do it now? On its 100th anniversary on July 1, the CCP is aware that is a scary time because it has actually been sitting on the edge of an abyss.

Ren Zhong is a freelance writer and an entrepreneur. He has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2013, focusing on China’s economic and social issues.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Ren Zhong
Ren Zhong
Ren Zhong is a freelance writer and an entrepreneur. He has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2013, focusing on China’s economic and social issues.