Of­fi­cer leaves for­eign­ers with a good im­pres­sion of po­lice

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By DU JUAN du­juan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

As an in­creas­ing num­ber of for­eign­ers travel, in­vest or work in Bei­jing, po­lice of­fi­cers are feel­ing the weight of more com­plex chal­lenges at work.

Hu Xin, 35, an of­fi­cer in Xicheng district in Bei­jing, is one who has faced the po­ten­tial for mis­un­der­stand­ings due to lan­guage and cul­tural dif­fer­ences. In do­ing so, he has won re­spect and grat­i­tude from for­eign­ers dur­ing years of ser­vice.

“As po­lice of­fi­cers han­dling cases re­lated to for­eign­ers, we rep­re­sent China,” Hu said.

“At no time should we be hasty, an­gry or rude as of­fi­cers,” he said. “We use po­lite lan­guage to show both hu­mor and state­li­ness with man­ners.”

Hu grad­u­ated from Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies Univer­sity in 2005 and joined the po­lice force that July, re­al­iz­ing a dream of his since he was a boy.

His stud­ies and in­ter­ests were per­fectly suited for the job of an of­fi­cer with English lan­guage skills.

His skills are of­ten put to the test. Sev­eral months ago, a for­eign busi­ness ex­ec­u­tive was de­tained and taken to Hu’s of­fice be­cause of crash­ing into oth­ers’ cars in the street af­ter drink­ing. AC­TION IN A NEW ERA

Dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, he said to Hu, “Do you know who I am? I make cars. I’ve made great con­tri­bu­tions to so­ci­ety. Do you know how many cars I have made?”

The ex­ec­u­tive was a se­nior of­fi­cial of a car man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany in Europe.

Hu replied in flu­ent English, “No, but what in­ter­ests me is how many cars you’ve crashed into.” The man, stunned, was left speech­less.

As he gained ex­pe­ri­ence, Hu re­al­ized that the English he had learned at col­lege was not ad­e­quate for the de­mands of the job.

He started to do re­search and col­lect ma­te­ri­als for what he calls “po­lice English” and ex­tended his ef­forts to other for­eign lan­guages fre­quently en­coun­tered in China.

He said that sev­eral months later, he pro­duced “a mul­ti­lin­gual po­lice hand­book” with ques­tions and an­swers in seven lan­guages on sit­u­a­tions po­lice of­fi­cers fre­quently en­counter.

It was praised by his su­pe­ri­ors as an ef­fec­tive tool to fa­cil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween po­lice au­thor­i­ties and for­eign­ers. The hand­book has been in use since 2009.

Af­ter the suc­cess of the hand­book, Hu set 2010 as his tar­get for writ­ing a book to help po­lice across the na­tion deal with cases that in­volve for­eign af­fairs.

He spent two hours dur­ing work­days and more than 10 hours dur­ing the week­ends to do re­search for the book.

By the end of 2011, the book of over 300,000 words was pub­lished. It was the first book in the coun­try fo­cus­ing on the de­tails of po­lice usage of the English lan­guage.

Hu is con­tin­u­ing to push him­self to learn, say­ing there is still a lot to do to help the po­lice deal with is­sues in­volv­ing for­eign af­fairs.

“The num­ber of for­eign­ers keeps grow­ing in Bei­jing, es­pe­cially in Xicheng district,” he said. “We are now work­ing on de­vel­op­ing a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion to help of­fi­cers com­mu­ni­cate with for­eign­ers in­stantly.”


Of­fi­cer Hu Xin of Xicheng district po­lice in Bei­jing

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