Fully armed riot police were spotted marching down Chengdu's most popular shopping street, Chunxi Lu, at 9:30 Sunday morning.
Chengdu residents on the shopping street were startled by the sight.
Of the team, 12 were newly minted female officers. The women had all been recruited to the squad in January of this year and had officially completed their 10-month boot camp. Sunday marked their first public patrol.
According to troop head of Chengdu Police Special Forces Peng Yong, all the women are around 24 years old and university graduates. During training they ran a daily 5K and practiced hand-to-hand combat, tactics, climbing, and landing.
Four of the officers demonstrated the results of their training program in a public drill that followed the procession on Chunxi Lu.
For their efforts, they received applause from a small crowd of passersby, including several female students.
In a hand-to-hand combat simulation, one officer restrained a 1.78-meter-tall, 161-pound man.
"During our daily training, we also had routine combat training with the male officers. For female officers, the trick is to use both timing and technique to quickly bring the opponent under control," explained the officer, Feng Yue. She went on to say that at the beginning of training some of the female officers had never had any basic combat training, but after boot camp, every woman on the squad is able to restrain an adult male by herself.
Li Jie, who graduated with a degree in computing from the University of Electronics and Science (Dianzi Keda), decided not to enter the IT industry after completing school. "My father is a police officer. I like this occupation," she said.