A street food vendor in Sanya, Hainan was beaten by chengguan after an argument broke out over the position of her cart and its obstruction of traffic. The video currently circulating online shows her eight-year-old son screaming uncontrollably after seeing his mother lying on the ground with her face covered in blood.
The Ministry of Tofu summarizes the details of the confrontation:
The chengguan believed that the breakfast stall had caused disturbance to normal traffic, and wanted them to leave.
According to the vendor, Ms. Chen, the chengguan used much foul language against her, so she argued, “I didn’t set up my stall in the street. It was just in the alleyway. Why not discipline those who did occupy the street?” When the chengguan confiscated her steamers, she tried to seize it back, and the quarrel escalated into a brawl. The chengguan hit her head with a broom.
The vendor’s younger sister intervened, trying to mediate between two fighting parties, only to get hurt by the chengguan, who banged her on the head with a plastic stool.
The police who investigated the matter said that neither party would acknowledge having started the fight first. However, after the police mediation of their dispute, they agree to resolve it, if the chengguan pays the Chen sisters 7,000 in damages.
The incident is but one of the countless cases of chengguan abuse that occur every year in China, which occasionally result in citizens being beaten to death. Time will tell whether the government curtails the meager authority afforded to chengguan, after perhaps one too many riots occur in response to their abusive behavior.