Police in Huairou just horsing around

By Hannah Leung Source:Global Times Published: 2012-3-20 19:03:43

Yesterday, the Global Times reported that two police officers walked 20 kilometers to retrieve two lost horses that escaped from the Shambhala Resort, located at the Great Wall in Huairou district. These horses, along with the resort, belonged to an American entrepreneur. Web users, after hearing about the incident, angrily shared the case on their microblogs, accusing police officers of being more concerned with the needs of foreigners than their own.

A Google search of the resort reveals a succinct description of the retreat. "Shambhala at the Great Wall is set on an estate of 50 acres, offering 360-degree vista views of the Great Wall of China from each of the resort's 10 restored luxury Chinese villas tucked along the foot of a mountain," it reads. Sign me up!  

This information is helpful in settling an otherwise polemical case involving favoritism. Here is my postulation in this specific stallion scandal. Whether you are a foreigner or local, what matters is how much effort goes into it the process of helping you. Walking around a pretty resort in search of a conspicuous animal doesn't seem a tasking ordeal, unless faced with torrential rain. My guess is the policemen fancied a walk around the restored villas. I would, too. Would they have done this for a local? I think they would if the local also owned a fancy resort. Whether they would have done this for a poor migrant worker is a whole different story.

There are many incidents where police do not side with foreigners. This usually holds true in most cases where I've seen brawls that have occurred outside bars, arguments over violated contracts and the daily, petty arguments. Most of my friends only involve the police as a last resort because miscommunication coupled with inefficiency tends to make the situation even worse.

I usually don't bother the police for much. A few months ago, my former neighbor undertook a massive renovation of his dilapidated apartment, starting work at 6 am. After a week of consistent torture, I called the police to report him as municipality laws state that construction should take place only during normal business hours.

To shorten an otherwise dramatic story, the police came promptly. I suppose they reprimanded the man. They then pounded on my door, as if they were about to carry out a drug raid, to alert me that they informed my neighbor about my complaint. So much for anonymity. Though the way they handled the situation was less than ideal, at least they tried. My neighbor promptly resumed construction after a few quiet days.

The policemen in Huairou walked 20 kilometers to find horses. So what? Some people really like horses. I bet it was a pleasant stroll around a nice resort. Would this be a problem if there were more pertinent issues going on? Yes. But otherwise, it's not a big deal that these policemen helped poor horses find their way back to palatial grounds.

A few weeks ago, I was looking for an office building in the central business district and asked a policeman for help. He was quite friendly and wanted to assist, but unfortunately had no idea where the street I was looking for was. I later stumbled across it accidentally; it was about three blocks over. This aptly sums up my general view of police: they are keen to help foreigners and locals alike, but for the most part, are ill-equipped.

Posted in: Viewpoint, Twocents-Opinion

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