Pao-Chia

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pao-Chia

 

before the victory of the people’s revolution of 1949 in China, a system of administrative and police organization of peasant homesteads into special pao, or units of 100 homesteads, and chia, which united up to 1,000 homesteads. The pao-chia system existed from ancient times. It was usually used for mutual guaranty, mutual surveillance, struggle against opponents of the authorities, and extortion of taxes from the people.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In his research on the rural economy of Jiangsu in the late Qing, David Faure has noted the difference between youmin and beggars: youmin were a "perpetual phenomenon in 19th century China," and the term itself implied that the people so referred to "did not have a steady position" and "did not belong to the city." "Beggars, like all professions," on the other hand, were recognized by the state as part of the settled urban population and "could be banded into pao-chia [baojia] under a beggar chief."(9) William Rowe notes the same sort of phenomenon in Hankou.(10) Apparently, by the nineteenth century, Chinese beggars had long been regarded as part of the urban community.