Opinion / From the Press

Chengguan should not use violence

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-29 09:18

Urban management officers, or chengguan, beat up a man in Cangnan county, Zhejiang province, recently for taking pictures of their violent crackdown on vendors. The urban management officers, in turn, were beaten up by some angry onlookers. And in Jiangsu province, people have criticized an urban management officer for buying a Google Glass to "gather evidence" against suspects. These two incidents, among others, highlight the extent to which chengguan have become unpopular, says an article in Zhengzhou Evening News. Excerpts:

Recent years have seen an increase in the use of violence by chengguan against people, especially vendors to "keep cities clean". Sometimes the public has reacted strongly - even fought back - against chengguan's actions. Perhaps this is why chengguan have been criticized, and demonized.

The efforts of chengguan authorities in Jiangsu province to improve their department's work and image deserve praise. Yet the chengguan team should know that its generally negative image, rather than its demonization by the public, is rooted in contradictions.

Chengguan do not need Google Glass to collect evidence against street vendors. The Cangnan conflict started when a passerby tried to take pictures of chengguan's violent action against a street vendor, which is essentially not different from chengguan collecting evidence using an advanced tool like Google Glass. For the record, the passerby was not using Google Glass.

The real problem is not the equipment chengguan use, but whether they can co-exist harmoniously with vendors. If the two sides can understand and respect each other's work and problems, they can avoid incidents like the one in Cangnan.

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