Shuanggui

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File:"Shuanggui" (双规).JPEG
A typical "shuanggui" center.

"Shuanggui" (双规) is a Chinese term referring to the special approach that Chinese anti-corruption investigators adopt to question Party members and government officials who are suspected of wrong doings. The suspects are usually detained to make confessions during the period of interrogation.

The term "shuanggui" first came into use back in May 1994, when the Work Regulation for Case Investigation of the Discipline Inspection Departments of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was first issued. When used as a verb, "shuanggui" has two meanings. The first is to hold someone at a stipulated place, and the second is to hold them for a predetermined period of time.

In typical a "shuangui" center, the room looks normal at first glance, but the room's furnishings are specially designed and there are no sharp edges on the doors, tables, desks and floor. All the edges are wrapped in thick rubber to prevent the suspect from committing suicide or injuring himself or herself. These locations often frighten those suspected of committing crimes. The room's layout can psychologically affect the suspect. Many people are known to confess whatever they did wrong once they are placed here.

Suspects placed in "shuanggui" centers are protected by rules and regulations. For example, a series of formalities must be followed in order to successfully hold a suspect. There must be clear, definite time limits for custody. Extensions are not possible except for a handful of particularly complicated cases, which must be passed on to higher authorities for approval.

Here are some factors determining whether a "shuanggui approach" is taken against a suspected official. First, discipline inspection departments have had a considerable amount of facts and evidence which show that the suspected official could be discharged from his or her post, but in the meantime, further investigations are still needed. Second, the suspected officials have the possibility of collaborating with each other, escaping, or destroying evidence, which can make the case harder to prosecute. Finally, high level officials suspected of seriously breaking Party discipline and attempting to cover the truth.