Yanda 2010

The startling news of the week concerns the launch of the 2010 Yanda Punitive Action (2010严打整治行动), announced on June 13 by Zhang Xinfeng, the deputy minister of public security.

The campaign will last seven months (July 2010 - February 2011), take place on a nation-wide scale, and involve coordination between the national-level yanda, and soon-to-begin local-level anti-crime struggles.

Campaign targets are:

1. "striking hard at all kinds of violent crimes" (telecommunication fraud; explosions; crimes arousing popular rage; abduction and sale of women and children; "two robberies and one theft" cases; pornography; gambling; drug abuse and more).

2. strengthening public order management, in those areas displaying higher crime rates.

3. curbing prominent crimes

4. guaranteeing social stability

5. contributing to the success of the Shanghai World Expo and the Canton Asian Games

Yanda campaigns are nation-wide law enforcement actions whereby the police concentrates its efforts on some crimes for a limited period of time. They are part of a mode of law enforcement premised on the fast and severe punishment of certain crimes.

This far, yanda campaigns have been launched three times (1983, 1996, 2001). In the meanwhile, other forms of law enforcement have emerged (specialist struggles and concerted actions), that target specific geographical areas, or focus on specific crimes. A third typology of campaign focussing on pornography, gambling, drug abuse, kidnapping and sale of women and children is the Six Evils Campaign.

It is still early to form a judgement about the 2010 Yanda. The request to link the nation-wide yanda to local anti-crime actions, and the inclusion of gambling, pornography and drug abuse among campaign targets may signal that different kinds of anti-crime campaigns are being merged into one. Could we be witnessing an evolution of the yanda?

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