CHINA / SOCIETY
Chaoyang residents compared to top intelligence agents alongside MI6 and CIA following famous pianist's fall from grace
Published: Oct 22, 2021 03:55 PM
Li Yundi Photo: CFP

Li Yundi Photo: CFP



After Chinese pianist Li Yundi was reportedly detained for soliciting prostitute in Beijing on Thursday, a new intelligence force was unveiled -- the residents of Chaoyang in Chinese capital who reported Li to the police, with netizens jokingly calling them a mysterious intelligence force could match four famous intelligence, the CIA, MI6, KGB and Mossad.

The police statement on Li's detention issued by Chaoyang branch of Beijing Public Security Bureau read that "The Chaoyang branch received reports from the public that there was an active prostitution ring operating in a community within Chaoyang..." 

"The Chaoyang branch received reports from the public" is a typical start of a police statement, and people who offer tip-offs are dubbed as Chaoyang masses. 

According to public information, Chaoyang residents have lodged police reports ensnaring entertainers who used drugs, solicited prostitutes or conducted organized gambling. 

Profile photos of Chinese entertainers whose misconducts were reported to police by Chaoyang residents.  Photo: screenshot of Weibo

Profile photos of Chinese entertainers whose misconducts were reported to police by Chaoyang residents. Photo: screenshot of Weibo



Fong Jo-Ming, son of Jackie Chan and Taiwan-born entertainer Kai Ko were detained in 2014 by Chaoyang police according to reports made by members of the public. 

Sharp eyes and vigilance of the people of Chaoyang were demonstrated as early as 1974 in the case of catching spies from the former Soviet Union, according to an article published in the People's Daily on January 23, 1974. 

Soviet diplomats usually met with their sources secretly in Chaoyang which was suburb then, but local residents knew each other well and immediately noticed the strange figures despite of their disguise. 

A more recent case revealed by the police was in 2017 when a 71-year-old "auntie" surnamed Wang helped police catch a prostitution gang. Wang first noticed a young man who moved into the apartment of an old neighbor, the man, who was apparently loitering for no reason would frequently interact with a range of different men.  

The men would go up to his apartment only to leave soon after. The young man lived alone but ordered food for several people.  

Wang reported the strange situation to the police, who found the apartment to be a prostitution den housing six sex workers while the man solicited "customers." The gang was broken up with three detained for criminal violations and 12 under administrative detention. 

Aside from retired "aunties" and "uncles" in residential compounds, water and power reading takers, delivery people , house cleaner and even rental agents can be informants for police. In many cases drugs are detected by water reading takers or delivery people. 

Those typical cases shed light on how the people of Chaoyang work with police to safeguard security and order of society. Chaoyang district, the largest urban district of Beijing, is home to 140,000 Chaoyang masses who cooperate with the police. Xinhua reported in 2018 that Chaoyang masses reported 8,300 valuable tip-offs to Chaoyang police, leading police to crack 370 cases and detain more than 250 suspects. 

Global Times 
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