This kind of discourse, more appropriate to a foreign war than to internal security affairs, has led many to question whether the government regards its
own citizens as enemies. Ma Yong (@旁观者马勇), a professor of history at
Chinese Social Science Academy, writes that the government is simply overacting. "These kind of meetings have been held seventeen times over more than
ninety years, under a variety of circumstances. Is there any need for such a degree of sensitivity? Why not treat it as normal?"
This warlike attitude has spread all over the country. On October 15, the national railway police system said it would treat the undertaking of
Congress-related security as if it were actual combat. Special attention would be paid to the provinces surrounding Beijing. On October 20, Hubei province announced that the police
would enter "a state of war" to ensure security until the end of the Convention. All police vacations falling in this time period would be cancelled. In
the past month, declarations of similar commitments from other government organs have been prevalent.
In this high-pressure atmosphere, political dissidents and civil rights activists are the most likely to be targeted. Under the special security measures,
many of them enjoy limited personal freedom or live under daily supervision by security officers. Those who live outside Beijing are denied entry to the
city, while those living in Beijing are forced to travel out. Teng Biao (@滕＿彪), a human
right lawyer, gives this summary of the "18th Congress Syndrome": "When I was [recently] in Shenyang, I couldn't get access to Skype via the Internet
provided by the hotel. Many web pages which had not been blocked before were blocked then. It makes me think of some friends of mine who are under house
arrest, are forced to travel or work elsewhere, are driven out of their homes, are denied access to the Internet, are silenced, or are denied entry to
Ordinary people are also experiencing the effects. @王瑛006, who lives in the Chongwen district of Beijing,
tells her story: "Yesterday three people from the neighborhood committee entered my household to do a registration for safety concerns before the Congress.
They asked my name, whether I was the household leader, where I was registered, my cell phone number, and how many people lived with me, whether they were
male or female. In order to save time and energy, they also asked information about my father's, daughter's and son's households. I asked them whether it
is really so unsafe before the Congress. They said they would even take turns to stand guard some days later."
Travelers face stricter measures as well. The Beijing News (@新京报) reports that from October 20 to November 18, travelers
are prohibited from taking kitchen knives, scissors, or hammers with them on railways. The Southern Metropolis (@ 南都深度) tweets that window cranks or electronic window openers on back seats of all the taxis in Beijing have been
de-mounted in order to prevent travelers from handing leaflets out of taxi windows.