context: Following up on Beijing’s recent admonitions about the potential for social conflict and the need to attend to their sources, state media has been publicising measures that are presented as working–and therefore might be workable for other communities to implement.

In 2018, Taijiang district, Fuzhou set up a pilot project supervised by a leading group composed of the district committee’s political and legal sections, local law association, and the district’s judicial and petition bureaus.

According to People’s Daily, the pilot’s purpose was

  • to coordinate interviews of petitioners with mediation to resolve claims and conflict according to law by relying on professional teams
  • if mediation is successful, to make return visits to urge and educate parties to consciously implement the agreement
  • if the mediation is unsuccessful, to issue a notice of failure, and guide parties to solve the problem through legal channels such as arbitration, administrative reconsideration or litigation

Since 2018, according to the article, Taijiang received 393 cases for resolution, conducted 614 visits, and sought to mediate 179 various social disputes using the new mechanism. According to Li Fan 李凡 Taijiang district committee secretary, many conflicts were resolved in the embryonic stage, and mediation achieved a multiplier effect, reducing problems that would have persisted or escalated from unattended petitions.