Limitations of Transitional Justice in the PRC: the Curious Absence of the inoffizielle Mitarbeiter

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


My paper begins with some brief observations on the existing literature on the Chinese Communist Party’s post-Mao reversal of so-called unjust, wrong, and false cases. The paper then proceeds to examine a noteworthy difference between the PRC case and transitional justice in other states where “the transitional” entailed a further shift in power from an ancien regime to an entirely new order (viz. Eastern Europe after 1989): the complete absence from the Chinese public record of the inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (teqing in Chinese). Drawing on Chinese Public Security files, I argue that his/her absence from accounts of injustices and justice should not be interpreted as evidence of the teqing not actually having been present in Mao Zedong’s socio-political reality. Public Security organs had, in many of the categories of cases reviewed in the post-Mao transitional justice system, regulalry and routinely employed the operational instrument of the teqing to obtain (fabricate?) evidence and secure (false?) convictions.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History and Archaeology


  • China, law, justice, Cultural Revolution, informers, inoffizielle Mitarbeiter
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusUnpublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
EventJustice and Accountability in Maoist China and After - München, Germany
Duration: 2013 Mar 8 → …


ConferenceJustice and Accountability in Maoist China and After
Period2013/03/08 → …

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