‘Chinese-Style’ Crackdown vs. ‘Chinese-Style’ Crossing

Global Times’ Chang Meng describes an ongoing campaign against road safety violations as typical of short-term, unsustainable crackdowns whose effects barely outlast the campaigns themselves.

“You insane people, waiting on the street! I just ignored the red light, what can you do to me?” the middle-aged woman yelled at a traffic police officer as she brought her bicycle to a halt by the roadside. After being asked for her name and ID, she shouted, “I don’t have a name and I’m leaving, just take good care of my bike,” before thrusting the bike at the police officer and storming away.

Residents in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, witnessed this drama last week but these kinds of scenes have been seen across provinces and regions including Anhui, Shandong and Guangxi, as authorities have launched a campaign to crack down on violations of road rules, particularly “crossing the road, Chinese style.”

[…] The campaign set the stage for a showdown between two stereotypically Chinese phenomena: moving across the road en masse without regard for traffic lights, which has been dubbed by Web users a “Chinese style” of crossing the road; and a forceful albeit short-lived crackdown by the authorities, which produces short-lived success.

See more on the self-deprecating ‘Chinese-Style’ label at Global Times.


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