The Ministry of Public Security held the national involuntary mental hospital conference in Wuhan, Hubei Province from May 26 to 27.
Involuntary Mental hospitals in China are controlled by the government, and have been used to jail political dissidents and real mental patients alike. However, they are more and more frequently used by local government to jail minor offenders or personal enemies.
The Ministry of Public Security emphasized on the conference that a mentally normal person could only be jailed after the police department approves. The message were reported by many mainstream media, including TV, newspaper and magazines. The 'a slip of the tongue' accident confirmed the long time rumor that these hospitals indeed had been used by local government as jail houses.
There are 22 involuntary mental hospitals in China in eighteen provinces.