Sinosphere: Chengguan, Widely Despised Officers in China, Find Refuge and a Kind Ear

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Chengguan, or urban management officers, confiscating fruit from a street vendor in Beijing in June.

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Imaginechina, via Associated Press

BEIJING — They may be the most reviled public servants in China. A Chinese Academy of Social Sciences report on the popularity of government officials two years ago ranked the chengguan, or urban management officers, dead last. Unarmed but charged with enforcing order on city streets, they have been scorned as bullies who brutalize beggars, smash unlicensed fruit vendors’ carts, kill unregistered pets and assist in the forced demolition of people’s homes. Scuffles are common, sometimes ending in injury or even death.

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