China's urban enforcement officials 'moved to tears' after show of support from street vendors

Photographs of street vendors in China wearing T-shirts and holding posters with slogans supporting the state's urban enforcement officials have made waves online, reported the South China Morning Post.

The officials known as chengguan carry out minor by-laws - including those which govern street trading. Chengguan have a notorious reputation for violent and heavy-handed treatment of suspected offenders.

Some enforcement officials were moved to tears after seeing the slogans, according to the Chongqing Morning Post.

The pictures show street vendors in Fengjie county, Chongqing, with slogans on their T-shirts such as "My chengguan brothers, you've been working hard" and "chengguan officials are my brothers".

The man who organised the show of support, whose name was not given, told reporters this was an apology to a friend who had worked as a chengguan in the county for 19 years and was often mocked and shunned.

His chengguan friend told him he felt maligned and was sometimes attacked by hawkers when he was at the wet market to buy food.

The man and his other friends, after hearing this, spent 1,000 yuan (S$208) making the posters and T-shirts.

About 40,000 people have commented on the story on news website 163.com.

Some wrote that Chongqing's chengguan were actually more flexible and kinder than their counterparts in other cities.

However, others questioned if vendors wearing the T-shirts were sincere in doing so.