State oppression, as carried out through the operations of China's local goons

How did Xinhua get a county police chief to talk?  

(…) On this occasion, it was deeply satisfying to give the goons the slip as we left for the drive back to Suzhou, by luring them into a blind alley.

It is of course less fun if you have to live under them. It has long been clear that the local security apparatus sees a big part of its job to be preventing people from taking their legitimate grievances to higher organs of the state. The techniques of spying, snitching and low-level oppression, reminiscent of the Stasi, have rarely been spelt out so clearly as by a county police chief in Inner Mongolia, interviewed approvingly by Xinhua and translated here by the very good China Digital Times.