The second of the three days of running in the Guizhou mountains I took part in a couple of weeks back ended in Zhaiwa 'Village' - a community of perhaps 10,000 or 15,000 people. I couldn't help wondering what such a small place needed with such a big police station. And indeed, this is not just your run-of-the-mill police station, but a S.W.A.T. unit headquarters!!
As I put it to my friend The Choirboy (in yet another of the frivolous text messages with which I deluged him during my time away):
"What does a sleepy little mountain town need with its own S.W.A.T. team? Can it be that the Miao minority are not as thoroughly contented under Chinese rule as all the smiley dancing would have us believe?"
Enquiring minds want to know.