Profile: Life of a Chinese Anti-Drug Policewoman Defined by Courage

ByHua Hongli March 29, 2023
Profile: Life of a Chinese Anti-Drug Policewoman Defined by Courage
Special policewomen participate in an adaptive training on plateau in Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Golog, northwest China's Qinghai Province, Jan. 9, 2021. [Xinhua/Zhang Long]


BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) — Ren Shasha's job requires her to play many roles. She may need to play the part of a hotel receptionist, a passer-by, or even a couple with her colleague. However, these roles are all unrelated to the acting profession. They are instead a crucial part of her job as a border policewoman fighting drugs.

She once intercepted a vehicle and seized heroin from the spare tire. Unexpectedly, she also found a handgun and a dozen rounds of ammunition just below the driver's seat.

"The drug dealers were ready to bend over and reach for the gun," recalled Ren.

"I was really afraid afterward. I could not bear to think about the potential consequences if they were arrested just a few seconds late." But all she could think of at that moment was catching the criminals and ensuring that they faced the full consequences of their actions under the law.

Born in 1993 in Nanchong, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Ren had dreamed of joining the army since she was a little girl, and she finally made it in 2012. She became an anti-drug policewoman in 2016.

Undoubtedly one of the most dangerous jobs in peacetime, the anti-drug operation is a path that few are willing to tread, and for women, this path is even more daunting.

"In the fight against drugs, there is no concept of 'the man goes first and the woman comes later'," Ren said.

In 2018, Ren had a chance of retirement, and her parents wanted her to return to Sichuan, but she "willfully" chose to work at the Mukang border checkpoint in southwest China's Yunnan Province, which is the first barrier stopping drugs from flowing from the border to the Chinese mainland.   

"Because in all my years of fighting drugs, I've seen too many people and too many families destroyed by drugs. I once saw a gaunt, middle-aged woman with four children, one of them a toddler who didn't even have shoes. All because their father exhausted all his money on drugs," she said.

"I want to do everything in my power to stop the spread of drugs, apprehend more drug-related criminals, and restore a clean society."       

In May 2022, the usually calm Ren was caught off guard after she was diagnosed with "thyroid cancer."

She had a choice between surgery or conservative treatment, but if she accepted the latter, she would have to stop her intensive work and move to an in-house position. Ren finally decided to undergo surgery in June 2022 and returned to her post in September.

After returning, a drug dealer openly threatened her physically during the interrogation.

"I've kept you in my mind, and you'd better not give me a chance to get out, or I'll kill you," the suspect threatened.

"I'm not even afraid of cancer, let alone a drug dealer," Ren calmly replied.

The fact of the matter is that Ren has been walking on the brink of life and death since the day she decided to become an anti-drug policewoman.

So far, Ren has participated in the seizure of more than 130 drug cases, arrested more than 140 suspects, and seized more than 400 kilograms of various drugs, winning herself the honor of China's women role models.

Together with their male colleagues, policewomen like Ren have fought bravely on the front lines of fighting drugs, and showed no fear.

They exemplify strong characteristics of women such as selflessness and fearlessness, taking responsibility as a demonstration of women's strength. They are also children, wives, and mothers, and the epitome of millions of women. 


(Source: Xinhua)


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