China: Cops and bikers

Guangzhou, China's third largest city just a few hours north of Hong Kong, is the last major city to do away with motorbikes, effective January 1, 2007, in a move aimed at tackling pollution, traffic congestion and, more seriously, the high levels of street crime for which Guangzhou and a small number of its estimated 100,000 motorbike drivers are nationally known.

Ask almost anyone in China and they'll tell you a story they've heard about someone who was robbed or worse near Guangzhou's central train station, where most of the criminal motorbike drivers tend to hang out. Uploaded to's blog page today is a series of video clips shot across the street from and around that train station. Footage seems to have been shot by police themselves, was uploaded by a user calling herself Feever, and shows several drive-by robberies in action, a mid-freeway chase halfway through, renegade motorbikers resisting arrest and how municipal police work to catch them:

[Note to viewers outside China: this video may be unviewable (without a proxy server) until the underwater cables damaged in the recent earthquake near Taiwan are repaired.]

Intro: 2:00 am, Guangzhou
Inner Ring Road viaduct, train station section

“A female passenger is robbed by a ‘grab and run’ ‘flying bike thief'”

00:46 “Another female passenger is dragged over twenty meters on the ground by a ‘flying bike thief'”

01:11 “After a violent beating, the purse is run off with”

04:04 “Commander: tell them to move now”

04:05 “Act now!”

04:24 “Night arrest of viaduct ‘flying bike thieves'”

04:35 “Commander: seal the road! Seal the road!”

05:56 “Commander: seize all motorbikes!”

05:58 “Don't let a single one go!”

06:00 “All motorbikes and pedestrians must be searched!”

06:03 “None of the vehicles are to be let go.”

07:00 “Don't move! “Get him quick!”

07:05 “Don't run!”

08:12 “Suspect Huang Mou”


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