A new set of regulations called the “Guangzhou Metropolitan Comprehensive Law Enforcement Work Standards” went into effect on Tuesday, essentially forcing chengguan — urban management officers — to be congenial. As Danwei reports, the law “state[s] clearly that chengguan may not use profane or threatening language while enforcing their duties, may not damage private property, and may not use any form of violence or intimidation,” and “to use words like ‘please,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry.’”
There are two ways of looking at this:
It could be a sign of progress, a formal acknowledgment by the city’s enforcement officers that chengguan should practice courtesy because the people they deal with on a regular basis — street vendors, peddlers, the homeless — are human beings who deserve to be treated humanely.
Or it could be yet another indication of how fucked up the urban management officer system is: legislation is required for chengguan to be nice.
So how do you see China? As a continually improving country on the track of progress, or a backwards nation whose ambition outstrips its morals? (As always, the answer is “neither.”)
Another snippet from Danwei:
In addition to using nice words, the chengguan now also cannot randomly damage private property, do their duties after drinking alcohol, or take recourse to any other kind of violent or unseemly behavior.
These are things that seem… self-explanatory? We didn’t think “don’t drink on the job” was something that needed to be explicated. Baby steps, I suppose.
It’s the law: Chengguan in Guangzhou now have to be nice (Danwei) (Image via)