On July 17, 2013, watermelon vendor Deng Zhengjia died after being brutally beaten by urban management officers, or chengguan, in the city of Linwu in China’s central Hunan province. The chengguan are local authorities charged with maintaining order and cleanliness in China’s cities. Since their emergence in the late 1990s, the chengguan have earned a reputation for brutality in enforcing local regulations. The Deng Zhijia case once again exposed the lack of sufficient limitations on the conduct of chengguan in cities across the country. In the above cartoon, posted by artist Li Yongqiu (李永秋) to Sina Weibo, a watermelon violently cracked open bleeds across the pavement as the shields and clubs of the chengguan loom behind.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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