A surprising statement by a government official in eastern China's Jiangsu province has captured the attention of internet users after it was caught on video and posted online on Sunday.
“If the police don’t beat people, what’s the point of keeping them?” said an unidentified official of a complaint bureau in Suzhou. “The police are the government’s violence machine.”
The clip of the statement has gotten more than two million views and has set off a barrage of criticism against police violence.
"He told the truth. The police are the government's thugs," a person posted on his Weibo microblog.
Police violence has been justified in China in school textbooks, and training manuals tell officers that the “the police are the government’s tool for violence”.
The official's remarks came when a resident of an apartment building complained about the developer, according to reports. No other information was given about the incident.
The Nanfang Daily newspaper reported on Tuesday that the official had been ordered to “reflect deeply”, but authorities had declined to reveal his name and position.
Some observers were not satisfied with the light rebuke. “Authorities just asked him to ‘reflect’? That’s it? They should conduct a deeper investigation,” said one user.
Others turned their criticism to China’s complaint bureau. “The bureau has done no good for people. What is it for? It should be abolished,” commented one user.