Took this picture as it’s very seldom that you actually see these people in Changchun.
The soldier standing in the middle of the road with the white helmet is not regular PLA or police, he is one of the so called ‘elite’ communist party soldiers. They answer directly to the communist party (unlike the PLA) and act to protect it’s interests. I watched him for a few minutes and he was stopping only cars with white number plates, that is communist/government vehicles. But what made me most interested was the respect this person commanded -probably generated through fear more than anything else- he would stand in the middle of the road and simply point at a vehicle and it would steam to a halt. The soldier would march over to the vehicle, salute and I guess ask for papers. Even those 4x4s that drive like maniacs and go through all the red lights and ignore every traffic law known to man, stopped. They must have been looking for someone or something, though I’ll probably never know.
Even though I tried to take refuge behind a nearby tree, the chap with the bike is taking a long stare. Look closely at the people on the bus, they are staring too. The guy with the bike’s face says it all, curiosity, bewilderment and surprise.
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