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Motorcycle taxi drivers rally against ban in Quanzhou, Fujian

UP to 1,000 motorcycle taxi drivers rallied against a government order banning their operation in the southeast China city of Quanzhou, Fujian Province, today.

The drivers started gathering outside the compound of the municipal government at 8 am, demanding the government help them find new work.

By 3:30 pm, most of the drivers had dispersed and about 100 remained.

About 100 police officers were deployed to maintain the order. No violence or clashes were seen.

The city government issued an order prohibiting motorcycle taxis from Aug. 1, on the grounds that drivers had been rampantly violating traffic regulations and been involved in robberies and rapes, said Xie Yongqiang, deputy director of the Quanzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau.

But the motorcycle taxi drivers, who number about 30,000 in the city, complained the ban would affect their livelihoods because the business were their major source of income.

"Most of us are about 40 years old and have heavy family burdens. We have no other skills to make a living. It will be difficult to find another job," driver Li Pingsheng told Xinhua.

Motorcycle taxis are not a licensed form of transport in China.

Xie said the drivers should give up the illegal business and turn to other work.

"Quanzhou has lots of privately-owned companies, and many labor-intensive companies are short of manpower," he said.


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