Lie detector test used to evaluate government officials in Tibetan area of China

Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times |May 17, 2017

Beijing – Local government officials from a Tibetan region of Sichuan province have had to undergo a polygraph or “lie detector” test to prove their loyalty to the Communist Party of China (CPC), a rights organisation has said.

Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) quoted a state media report to say that a group of 168 officials from the prefecture were evaluated to gauge their political loyalty to the Communist Party.

“The state media report from Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) stated that the lie detector test was being imposed in order to establish the ‘true feelings’ of party cadres in the region,” ICT said in a statement.

“While it stated that this is a matter of establishing their ‘psychological stability’, the priority of the authorities appears to be to ensure political loyalty to the CPC and compliance with CPC policy.”

The state media report didn’t specify the ethnicity of those who appeared for the evaluation.

Published in Chinese in Ganzi Daily last month, the news report, when translated, said: “On April 5, the evaluation of work ability and psychological quality of the recently promoted cadres…was carried out. (As many as) 168 leading cadres took part in the assessment.”

It added, “Through this assessment, the prominent questions on the current state cadres’ ability and psychological quality were further analysed. It could provide decision-making references on the ‘ability and quality promotion project’ and for choosing capable leaders.”


The report further said it was for the first time this “innovative” way was being used for psychological evaluation.

“The evaluation was carried out in man-machine dialogue way, and it was the first time for our state to evaluate the leading cadres’ ability and psychological quality. It was also the first time to use modern talent evaluation technique,” the report said.

The ICT statement quoted the report in the state media as saying that in Kardze (administered by Sichuan, and part of the Tibetan area of Kham) “candidates are required to answer questions according to their true feelings and ideas” as part of a “progressive training of cadres” since April 7, and that a lie detector had been installed to “verify the authenticity” of answers.

It added the “introduction of lie detectors to test even Communist Party officials represents an escalation of the CPC’s efforts to assert its dominance in a climate it has created of fear and mistrust”.

Earlier this month, the Communist Party accused its own officials in Tibet Autonomous Region of donating funds to the India-based Dalai Lama, described by Beijing as a separatist conspiring to carve out an independent Tibetan state.

The unnamed officials were also accused of joining underground pro-independence organisations and leaking secrets to overseas groups.

Their activity “severely undermines the party’s fight against separatism”, a Communist Party magazine quoted an official as having written.