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Laughable laws & Law Enforcement in China Today
- But This Is Hardly A Laughing Matter

26 May 2012

Like almost all the cops around the world, China's police officers used to have bad reputation among citizens before the establishment of the PRC in 1949. It was Mao Zedong's new government that renamed the police force as People's Police and reformed the police culture to the point that for decades the cops were regarded as one the most respected and trusted groups in China.

But when Chinese government becomes more corrupt by the year, that is particularly so since entering the 21st century, the old police nature begins to catch up with the cops, and many officers have cooperated with corrupt elements or even entangled with underground criminal organizations.

The trend was only temporarily reversed in Chongqing under the strong leadership of Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun, which makes corrupt officials and organized criminals as well as some big multinationals very unhappy.

Now once again donning black uniform (such as in Henan), a great number of cops behave more and more like their old colleagues who once terrorised 72 tenants in Shanghai.

But to be fair, Chinese cops are not the biggest bullies in China. Many government officials, in the top leadership and at the local level, are certainly much tougher and ruthless than the guys in police uniform. However apart from the tyrants in black suits and colourful ties, there is another group of people who may or may not wear uniform or suit but are certainly more cruel and brutal. These guys are known as "城管" - chengguan - the urban administrative officers. The organization is a monstrous force conveniently and menacingly created by certain individuals in the central government who have not yet fully seized the control of the police force or the army.

When cops and chengguans work together, imagine what kind of terror they can bring to the ordinary urban residents. This gray haired man tried to earn some extra cashes through selling small amount of vegetable, but since he couldn't afford to buy an expensive place in a designated location, his stall and goods were trashed by the chengguans, and a further demand to pay a large amount of fine was issued. The old man finds no help from cop so goes down to his knees to beg for mercy.

Remember how Oakland cops treated the veteran marines last November? Chinese cops did the same to a group of veteran PLA soldiers merely delivering their petition (广西区民政厅), urging the government to release their rightful benefits that are frequently denied by the corrupt officials. The rough handling caused the injury of a war hero who won the 1st-class Military Merit (原163师487团一等功臣老兵林广和). To this coward yet reckless Chinese administration, handing over petition to government is somehow considered as a much more serious offence than corruption or even high treason.

This is a scene in Zhuhai of Guangdong Province under the reign of Wang Yang. An elderly couple making living by collecting and selling recycling items had a quarrel with a traffic cop, which drew a large number of onlookers that somehow triggered police panic. One cop sprayed pepper spray into the crowd, and the eyes of a 10-year old boy and a two-year old girl were hurt. The police brutality brought more passers-by joining the standoff with the men in uniform, that resulted in traffic blockage.

But Chinese cops are not all rude, and certainly not rude all the time - they can be very polite and extremely considerable too, that is when they are with government officials. This is a Chinese bikie gang led by a city chief who one day suddenly felt an urge to check out how his subjects carried on with their daily lives. He wanted to be seen as a man quite approachable, so ordered all his subordinates to get on bikes as he did, along with nine police motorcycles to clear the way for his procession and a troop of journalists with cameras ready to use.

When Chinese journalists do not follow the lead of a leader, they can be very sorry. This is a journalist trying to interview a government official from a housing administration bureau in Henan, regarding an illegal project of luxury villas. The agitated official beat the journalist up, then forced him to keen while pointed a pistol at his head.

Last week, a team leader from government land administration bureau ordered his men to demolish a single mother's house. The woman's husband died in a work-related accident and she has to raise up three kids on her own. With the compensation fee received, she repaired the house, and the project was just completed the day before the demolition. Watching the shelter of her family reduced to pile of rubble, outraged woman stabbed the officier in the heart.

Late last month, a 48-year old man was reportedly burnt to death with petrol by around 30 criminal gang members over a house demolition dispute.

This week, both US and Chinese state councils released "White Paper" digging up dirt against each other's human rights record, which we think is the only laughable matter we see lately. By so doing they are virtually dragging each other into a lose-lose situation, because the both sides are equally bad, representing the interests of the 1% in America and in China, with none of them deserving the high office they occupy.


Yang Huasheng (杨华生) is a monumental figure in China's comedy stage. Specialised in Shanghai Comic Drama (上海滑稽戏) based on Shanghai dialect, he created many unforgettable characters, but none of them are more memorable than a cop clad in black uniform in a drama titled 72 Tenants In A House (72 家房客).

The cop named 369 belonged to a police force under Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist government. With a Shanghai tone twisted by his Shandong tongue, the cop openly demands free services from dentist and shoe repairer alike, takes briberies from the second landlord and intimidate the poor tenants.

Comedy Master Yang however passed away on 24 May aged 94.

Super Manif de Casseroles dans Villeray

Last year, the strength of Occupy Wall Street created the foundation for a continent-wide movement through the occupation of public squares and parks. This spring, la Belle Province of Quebec has built the momentum, strength, and opportunity to be a launchpad for new North American occupations. Occupons Montréal was evicted from la Place du Peuple, but now we're occupying our entire city on an epic and unimaginable scale. Real change is in the air.

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