False ideas of chengguan must be righted

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-4-21 0:18:01

A fight between chengguan, or urban management officers, and the masses of Cangnan county in Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province attracted nationwide attention on Saturday. According to the official release, some chengguan triggered the incident by beating a civilian who was photographing their law enforcement process. Hyped up by some Internet rumormongers, this case drew more civilians around, who surrounded and beat up five chengguan. Two of them were seriously injured.

This mass incident was an explosion of the massive animosity against bureaucrats. There must be punishments imposed on all lawbreakers, and both the authorities and society need to reflect upon it.

It must be noted that chengguan are on the frontline of urban management, and they always bear the brunt of various conflicts on the streets. After all, it's not easy work.

But there is little understanding and sympathy for chengguan from the public. Public opinion, especially voices on the Internet, regard chengguan as a punching bag to show their frustrations and discontent against the government.

Any specific cases of simple and crude law enforcement by chengguan will be over-amplified and fuel public anger.

Other authorities also pay inadequate attention to the establishment of chengguan, among whom there are a lot of temporary employees. They are unqualified and inexperienced at handling complicated situations.

Both the higher authorities and public intellectuals, who have powerful voices and are fully aware of the importance of urban management, choose not to speak fairly on behalf of chengguan.

In fact, most chengguan are as grassroots as other ordinary people. They just happen to choose the job as law enforcement officers, but they are poorly trained. They take the heaviest burden of urban management, but they are treated with prejudice and bias.

As to the Cangnan case, the chengguan who first provoked the conflict must be punished according to the law. It is important and necessary for public opinion to call for the rule of law instead of violent confrontation, both physically and verbally.

The authorities should conduct deep introspection on this issue. This  chengguan dilemma is largely caused by a lack of financial and public support from the authorities.

Frequent incidents like this should also remind the authorities of what kind of a bar should be set for urban management. Now, the pursuit of city image has gone far ahead of the pursuit of public order and convenience.

The authorities should realize that their measures to shape public order in cities must match the real requirements of the people. They need the support of the masses instead of going their own way.

Chengguan were set up for the benefit of the people, but now even their mere existence is greatly doubted. It is high time both authorities and the public rectify this mess.

Posted in: Editorial

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