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China’s Street Vendor Market In Chaos after Chinese Premier’s Comments
When Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered the 2020 Government Work Report on May 22, he specifically advocated for “street trading” to revive China’s economy and announced the removal of five restrictions on street sales. China’s street vendors had mixed feelings upon hearing the news. The Urban Management team (Chengguan), thuggish law enforcers known for chasing clashing and beating street vendors, is a familiar scene for many Chinese citizens. These officers often smash street stalls and confiscate goods in the name of punishing unlicensed vendors and improving the aesthetic appeal of the city. Videos released in the first week of June showed that China’s “street market sector” was in a state of chaos after Premier Li’s unusual speech to “undo” the overly strict regulation. A Chengguan officer in Jiangxi Province invited a vendor to resume street sales. The vendor was shocked. Caption: ”Deputy Urban Management Brigade Head Ke Wen“ Vendor: ”What? You are asking me to set up street stalls?“ Officer: ”Yeah, we have designated two spots for street stalls.“ Vendor: ”Are you tricking me? “ Officer: ”No, I am the deputy brigade head Ke Wen.“ Vendor: ”I don’t trust you. Maybe the next time you are at the site, I will go find out if it’s true. ' Officer: "I will put up signs there. You are allowed to set up your stall under any of those signs. " Vendor: "I cannot believe that there are such wonderful things for us vendors." Officer:" Certainly…“ Vendor: ”Do I need to pay the leasing fee for the spot?“ Officer: 'No. " Vendor: "No leasing fee is required?" Officer: "Right." Vendor:" Wow, there are even such wonderful things!" Vendor:" Can I tell other vendors to come along as well?’ Officer: 'Yes, invite them as well. " Officer: "Our Urban Management Brigade has designated two spots on Wenhua Road for street vendors. One is close to the elementary school in the new district, the other is at the north gate of Shengshi Community." All of a sudden, over 100 vendors appeared on a street. However, there are very few customers. Caption: "We invite you to Xi’an to start a new career as a street vendor." Video 4 content: In Changchun City, Jilin Province, Urban Management Officers seem to have great difficulty getting out of the habit of bullying street vendors. Vendor: "So even the premier’s speech has no effect?" Officer: "You should…" Vendor: "Look at this (showing information displayed on his phone)" Officer: "I suggest you talk to the Village Party Head on the phone. If you still have complaints, you may discuss with him." Vendor: "Ask them to come here. I don’t know where to look for them." Officer: "No way. Put your equipment away." Vendor: "Look at you, you behave like the Kuomintang officials…" The Chinese communist regime demonizes Kuomintang (KMT) in text books and history books, describing KMT’s lower-level officials as bandits and higher-level officials as traitors who only cared about personal wealth and power. The street vendor condemned the Urban Management Officer by saying he was like KMT officials.