Friday, April 27, 2012

Leftovers from Bo and Wang (Updated)

In my April trip to Chongqing, the following were still seen everywhere in the city.

Police Platforms

Each of these modern-equipped platforms cost 5 million Yuan, according to sources. And there is one at every big intersection in the city. To Bo Xilai's supporters, this is what makes them feel safer. Bo's dissenters, however, say this unnecessarily high-expense contributes to the city's huge fiscal deficit. A local journalist said that, in the summer, the platform's air conditioning runs fully 24 hours a day in the open air. Chongqing is notoriously hot. "Think how much electricity it wastes!" He said.

The disgrace of Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun makes the police platforms a difficult issue to deal with:  Get rid of them?  People who are used to them will protest. Keep them?  maintenance cost is very high.

Update 5/27Got an email from Chongqing --


[in translation]
"Now the city government has issued instructions to stop building any police platforms that have not been built, and to provide no more equipments for those that already exist.   When Bo was here he ordered every district to build police platforms, 5 million each, at the district's own cost. Many districts did not have the money but had to do it; no one dared to say 'No.'"

"Mounted" Policewomen

They don't have horses, but they wear "mounted-police uniforms" as locals call their white, sculptured outfits.  It is said that the uniform was designed by Wang Lijun, who loves luxurious accessories and holds many patents for their design.   

Those policewomen with gorgeous uniforms have become more an attractive part of the landscape than operational force. Passersby rubberneck and argue which of them are more beautiful or have better body curves.

The Power of Propaganda

"Five Chongqings" were Bo Xilai's signature slogans: "Safe Chongqing," "Livable Chongqing," "Forest Chongqing," "Healthy Chongqing," and "Convenient Chongqing."   For people who have no better access to information, the pervasive posters are all they are exposed to everyday about their leader's achievements.  Because there is nothing wrong with those concepts (their sincerity notwithstanding), not to mention the sheer quantity of posters, the post-Bo government will have a hard time removing the propaganda and Bo's image associated with it. 


Chinamatt said...

The police platforms are a nice idea--certainly useful for people in need of assistance (assuming the police are helpful). But how does that little thing cost 5M Yuan?

Xujun said...

I had the same question and was told "electronic equipment." The figure, however, was independently quoted by different sources.

Unknown said...

I am thoroughly enjoying your blog. I've learned more about the Bo Xilai affair from you than from the BBC. Fascinating stuff. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Xujun said...

You are welcome.

KginCQ said...

each platform also has a truck to tow it and several laptops, lockers, are are surrounded by potted plants.
what pisses me off is he removed most of the newsstands around chongqing saying he wanted to open the sidewalks for the people, then he plopped these all over the place. i do like the sexy traffic girls, i check out the ones in front of my apartment everyday. the 5 chonqing movement has become synonymous with destruction for me. everywhere u see them they are tearing down the place behind them

Anonymous said...

How do the platforms cost 5M yuan? Well, 250,000 for all the equipment plus 50,000 for construction and 4.7M in payoffs, backhanders, bribes (call them what you will). That's 5 million.