A Harley Davidson motorcycle is displayed during the exhibition of the Prague “Harley Days” in Prague, Czech Republic, July 5, 2019. Prague “Harley Days”, one of Europe’s largest motorcycle events, was held in Prague on July 5 to 6. Visitors could see an exhibition of the latest, oldest and most original Harley-Davidson machines. Beside the exhibition, there were stunt shows, riders games and a motorcycle parade.(Photo: Xinhua)
Police in Changchun, Northeast China’s Jilin Province, have been put under the spotlight recently for riding Harley motorcycles worth 367,600 yuan ($53,000) each while on duty, prompting discussions whether it’s necessary to equip the police with the extravagant bikes to perform their duties. Local police responded, saying the procurement procedure for the motorcycles was in compliance with regulations.
Photos of uniformed local police officers riding Harley Davidson motorbikes went viral on China’s social network Sina Weibo on Tuesday.
Responding to public concerns, Changchun police said the same day that the motorcycles were purchased in 2018 through formal procedures, and had been in use for the past two years.
In an announcement published on the local government website in August 2018, Changchun police had purchased 10 Harley Davidson motorcycles worth 367,600 yuan each, and another 160 from the Italian brand Piaggio, worth 145,000 yuan ($21,400) each.
An official at the Changchun public resources trading network explained to thepaper.cn that all equipment ordered by government bodies must be based on actual needs, including imported equipment, and they “must have gone through procurement procedures in compliance with relevant regulations.”
The person did not respond to questions concerning the specific purpose of the imported motorcycles.
On hearing the official’s response to the controversy, some netizens on Sina Weibo expressed understanding, while some others insisted that it is not a question of compliance with the law, but a question of necessity – what special purposes do the police expect from the Harleys that other motorcycles cannot meet?
Others called for further investigation into the issue of potential formalism and extravagance in the city.