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China: Around The Nation

The Chinese town ‘pioneering’ virtual reality to stiffen Communist Party loyalty

Qingyang, home to just 35,000 people, has spent US$110,000 building a VR centre to test cadres on their party knowledge

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 May, 2018, 4:02pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 May, 2018, 6:17pm

A township in eastern China claims to be the first in the country to use virtual reality (VR) technology to reinforce cadres’ allegiance to the Communist Party.

The township of Qingyang in Zouping county, Shandong province, spent 700,000 yuan (US$110,000) setting up a VR room at the party’s education service centre, Binzhou Daily reported.

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Township party secretary Duan Shuguo said cadres first watched a documentary about communist heroes before putting on headsets to answer a series of questions on a wide range of content, from party theory and conduct to discipline.

Duan said the room was completed in April and the local government worked with a studio to produce the virtual reality scenarios.

Wen Daqing, also from Qingyang’s party branch, said noise was minimised in the room to ensure test-takers had “a peaceful mind”.

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“The questions were carefully designed based on the psychological standards. It would be a problem if a party member took too long or not enough time to finish all the questions,” Wen said.

Qingyang has an estimated population of 35,000, according to official figures.