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Chengguan learn a lesson from peddlers

By Jin Haixing  (China Daily)

08:20, June 18, 2013

Reporters start their recorders at a news conference in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Monday with Yang Xi (first left) and Gui Wenjing (third left), two urban management officers who disguised themselves as street vendors over the past month. MIAO JIAN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Please read: Chengguan goes undercover as street vendor

Two urban management officers, or chengguan, who disguised themselves as street vendors in Wuhan over the past month, intended to experience the life of peddlers in order to improve law enforcement in the city, local authorities said on Monday.

The urban management bureau of Hongshan district in the capital of Hubei province confirmed on Monday that the two people identified by netizens are its employees.

On Saturday, photos on a micro blog showed the two officers, Gui Wenjing and Yang Xi, selling teacups on the street, accompanied by a photo of one of them in a chengguan uniform, which soon became a hot topic on the Web.

They started a two-month mission on May 11 to experience the life of peddlers in the district, a publicity official from the bureau said at a news conference on Monday.

After they were spotted by netizens, the mission was suspended, the official said on Monday.

In the past month, the two officers got to learn about the lives of more than 200 peddlers in the city's three main business streets.

The two officers, disguised as peddlers, sold teacups and small items, according to the local chengguan bureau.

The profits they made from street trading will be donated to charity, it said.

Gui Wenjing, who devised the plan, said it was aimed improving officers' handling of illegal street traders in the city.

Both Gui and Yang have written long reports on their experiences on the streets, which will be released on Tuesday by the bureau.

The chengguan bureau said on Monday that it would seek suggestions from the public through micro-blogging websites and plans to further accelerate reforms of the working style of chengguan in order to improve law enforcement.

A number of measures have been taken in recent years to improve the public image of Wuhan's chengguan.

In February 2010, the city government formed the nation's first female chengguan squad.

In October 2012, chengguan gave roses to street vendors, a move meant to encourage them to cooperate with the law enforcers.

Conflicts between peddlers and chengguan are often witnessed in other cities in China, and the officers are often accused of treating people badly.

In Yan'an, Shaanxi province, a bike shop owner was beaten by chengguan on May 31. A photo showing an officer jumping on the man's head later went viral online.

Zhang Jianchao, head of the Yan'an urban management bureau, later apologized to the man, and two employees of the bureau responsible for the incident were detained by police, according to media reports.

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