Chengguan Creates Mawkish Video To Elicit Public Sympathy

Chengguan, those salt of the earth, are pushing back against negative public perceptions of their profession. One particular urban law enforcement officer in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, Jiang Yifan, created the above video recently to “clear up some misunderstandings,” as Danwei’s Barry van Wyk writes. A couple of things though:

1. A video is in the style of an ad from cosmetics firm Jumei.com. We’re not going to linger on the fact that it’s essentially a rip-off, because whatever, everyone does it. But borrowing from a company whose purpose is to create products that mask blemishes, defects and distortions? Oh chengguan, do you even try?

2. Like all good propaganda, the ad creates an alternative reality where everyone is a model worker with only good intentions, and all problems are society’s fault. It acknowledges just enough of the real world — “Being a chengguan is destined to be controversial” — to make it believable, but absolutely glosses over real, actual problems with the system, one which puts individuals in the unenviable position of doing shit like this.

You know how to elicit sympathy? Show chengguan doing good work. Or a day’s work. Real work. At the very least, chasing chickens. We’d begin to understand, then, that there are individuals behind the uniform, and maybe are not simply a pack of tools, thugs, and petty thieves.

Chengguan makes video to “clear up misunderstandings” of his profession (Danwei)

7 Responses to “Chengguan Creates Mawkish Video To Elicit Public Sympathy”

  1. DaXiong

    This is likely to be a controversial ChengGuan comment, but I can bear a flame or two…

    I live in JiangNing district of NanJing city, up until a few years ago countryside on the outskirts of NanJing. All (ok, almost all) of the ChengGuan around my housing area are decent dudes. They help elderly residents get around. They are nice to children. They always have a good word of greeting for me, and for other residents around here.

    Maybe this situation is an exception, but in 13 years of living and working in China, I have never had (or seen) a bad experience with ChengGuan.

    In any case that I have had a ‘bad’ experience with other Chinese officials, it always works when I step back from my own attitude, take a deep breath, smile, and remain calm. Things always seem to work out for the best that way.

    Reply
    • RhZ

      Why would you have a bad experience with cheng guan? Are you selling stuff on the street corner?

      Its so nice that your ox isn’t being gored. Then there are those whose entire livelihood is based on being able to stand out there and sell your wares.

      Reply
      • DaXiong

        Not sure what your point is. Some passive-aggressive attempt at outrage, perhaps?

        Do you make your living standing “out there” selling my wares? Or wares of any sort or kind?

        Reply
        • RhZ

          You said that you hadn’t seen any bad behavior from the cheng guan, right? And I said well you wouldn’t, now would you, the cheng guan don’t hassle people who aren’t street vendors.

          Its not outrage nor passive-aggressive. Your personal experiences are, well, meaningless. I have seen mellow cheng guan making jokes and chilling out. I have also seen them try to steal fruit from a shop because the workers had placed the fruit on the sidewalk, which caused a big incident and could have led to someone getting injured.

          Its a fucked up system. Street vendors are a part of life in China, they should be able to make a living legally. And the cheng guan are in a perfect position to demand bribes from these poor vendors, with the threat of violence if the payment isn’t made. And you can be sure they will never face any punishment for beating people, 99% of the time. Total impunity.

          But you never saw it, so…so what?

          Maybe I should ask you what your point is.

          Reply
          • DaXiong

            Your point is lucid and well stated. I understand that you are a fruit vendor, and have been harassed by ChengGuan for selling your fruit unlawfully. Might I suggest you move your fruit stand, or get a permit and pay taxes?

          • Jonathan Alpart

            “Your personal experiences are, well, meaningless. I have seen mellow cheng guan making jokes and chilling out. I have also seen them try to steal fruit from a shop because the workers had placed the fruit on the sidewalk, which caused a big incident and could have led to someone getting injured.”

            “Your personal experiences are, well, meaningless.”

            “I have seen mellow cheng guan making jokes and chilling out. I have also seen them try to steal fruit from a shop because the workers had placed the fruit on the sidewalk, which caused a big incident and could have led to someone getting injured.”

  2. DaXiong

    “…[illegal fruit sellers] had placed the fruit on the sidewalk, which caused a big incident and could have led to someone getting injured…

    Sure. a good reason to cherish injury. (?)

    Reply

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