Of­fi­cers, ven­dors swap jobs

Both gain sym­pa­thy for the other in Changzhou out­reach pro­gram

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By CANG WEI in Nan­jing cang­wei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Ur­ban Man­age­ment Bu­reau of Changzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince, shared its daily work with ven­dors, in an ef­fort to cul­ti­vate mu­tual un­der­stand­ing with a group that is of­ten hos­tile to­ward ur­ban pa­trol of­fi­cers and their en­force­ment du­ties.

One of the ven­dors, Liu Wei, who has lived in Changzhou for eight years, was fined by the bu­reau for sell­ing barbecued food with­out a li­cense.

“I was fined twice by the bu­reau, to­tal­ing 1,000 yuan ($145),” Liu said. “That meant I worked five days for noth­ing. When I saw the bu­reau’s no­tice to share their work, I jumped at the chance. I want to know what they do and why they fine us.”

Liu donned an of­fi­cial uni­form, car­ried a recorder, re­ceived an in­ter­com and started a day’s work in the city’s Tian­ning dis­trict.

“I thought the work would be very easy be­cause I’m one of them. I have many ven­dor friends and I know how to talk to them,” he said.

But the work turned out to be more dif­fi­cult than he imag­ined. Some ven­dors re­fused to leave the road­side where passersby of­ten stop and buy goods. A su­per­mar­ket owner even pushed Liu out of the door af­ter he tried to talk him into moving road­side goods in­doors.

Liu had to call his col­leagues for help. They told him he should keep calm and avoid us­ing provoca­tive words that might worsen the sit­u­a­tion. They smiled and ex­plained the reg­u­la­tions pa­tiently to the ven­dors and shop own­ers.

Be­sides pa­trolling roads, Liu’s work in­cluded clean­ing up ran­dom graffiti on walls, de­mol­ish­ing il­le­gal con­struc­tions and con­trol­ling il­le­gal park­ing. He and other pa­trol of­fi­cers had to carry a video recorder to prove that they did not use vi­o­lence in do­ing their job.

“I used to think that the work of the ur­ban man­age­ment bu­reau was to rob ven­dors,” Liu said. “Now I know their du­ties and that their work is not easy. Mu­tual un­der­stand­ing is es­sen­tial to avoid con­flicts.”

Then there was the other side: Some un­der­cover ur­ban man­age­ment of­fi­cers also worked as ven­dors in Changzhou to ex­pe­ri­ence the ven­dors’ daily lives and en­sure that their col­leagues do their work in the right way, ac­cord­ing to Qian Li, deputy di­rec­tor of the Lan­ling squadron in the city’s Tian­ning dis­trict.

“Their ex­pe­ri­ences will be shown on the in­ter­net,” Qian said. “A doc­u­men­tary will also be made based on the ex­pe­ri­ences of the ven­dors and our work­ers.”

Con­flicts be­tween ven­dors and city man­age­ment work­ers are re­ported from time to time through­out China.

Job seek­ers col­lect in­for­ma­tion at a booth at the Job Fair for For­eign Stu­dents in China at Pek­ing Univer­sity on Satur­day. About 2,500 prospec­tive em­ploy­ees at­tended in­ter­views. The fair, which was or­ga­nized by the Chi­nese Ser­vice Cen­ter for Schol­arly Ex­change, was of­fer­ing 450 po­si­tions in fields in­clud­ing con­struc­tion, high-speed rail­ways, stu­dent coun­sel­ing and fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

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