Only those who score high in “attitude toward illegal religious superstition” receive subsistence allowance if unemployed and higher education for their children.
by Zeng Liqin
This year 2023, the Propaganda Department and Civilization Office of the Chinese Communist Party Committee of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region selected several villages for a pilot program of “changing customs and changing culture.” The program is popularly known as “double hundred percent,” and is a kind of social credit where citizens are rewarded if they approach scores of 100 out of 100 in evaluations by two different committees, and are punished if in one or, worse, in both evaluations their score is lower than 60 out of 100.
A typical example is the Ejin Horo Banner, called by the Chinese Yijinhuoluo County. It is not surprising that the program is implemented there, since the Banner is where the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan (called the Ejin Horo) is located. It never hosted the body of the founder of the largest empire in human history but, besides being a popular tourist destination, is a center of his religious cult practiced by Mongolian shamanism. Genghis Khan is also a symbol of Mongolian identity, looked at with suspicion by the CCP.
In selected villages of the Banner, the two committees allocate scores to villagers, most of them engaged in animal husbandry. Each quarter’s scores are posted on large billboards.
“Sanitation” and “cleanliness” give points, but more important is the “attitude towards illegal religious superstition,” which includes both participation in banned groups labeled as xie jiao, shamanic practices, and the cult of Genghis Khan.
The regulation mandates that those who score 90 or more in both assessments will be given preferential supplies for their animals and agricultural activities; their children may receive scholarship to attend high school and college; when a close relative dies, monetary support is offered for the funerals.
On the contrary, those who score 60 or less in one of the assessments will not receive subsistence allowances if they are unemployed, nor supplies for the animals and agriculture, and will be excluded from the benefits reserved to high-scoring citizens. Their children will also be excluded from higher education.
This is a particularly perverse application of social credit, explicitly aimed at eradicating traditional Mongolian culture and spirituality. In an area plagued by poverty and unemployment, those who resist may literally starve.