This ranks right up there with the best competitions American life has to offer: Yankees vs. Red Sox, Texas vs. Texas A&M, even federal prosecutors vs. Illinois governors. I speak, of course, of the battle fought on the sidewalks of Beijing between the sticker urchins and the power washers.
The sticker urchins are young teenage boys hired to adhere advertising stickers to the sidewalks. The stickers have phone numbers and little else-- although the little else eludes me since I'm functionally illiterate here. I've seen a couple methods used:the peel, drop and stomp or the less popular apply-adhesive, drop and stomp. These kids are remarkably quick. Fifteen stickers per minute is about average, I'd guess. They often work weekdays when school's in session.
Their worthy opponents are 40-ish men, usually wielding trucks with high-pressure hoses. I've also seen them squirt a chemical on the stickers over a section of sidewalk, come back and use a rake to scrape them off. And one day I saw an older kid use a cigarette lighter to torch a chemical-soaked sticker, which then burned for quite a while. I'm sure the chemical's perfectly safe for toddlers, though.
You might wonder why the cops don't follow the phone number to whatever business this is and then make an arrest there for defacement of public property. All I can say is that we don't do that in America, either; otherwise, we'd be arresting politicians left and right for unlawfully-placed campaign stickers. I have seen the authorities apprehending a sticker urchin or two, usually by carting off his bicycle so he's bound to follow. And in my zest for protecting public space, especially sidewalks, I do find myself wishing that the police here would do what they do on the south side of Chicago-- read the kid his rights and then scare him, by whatever means the officer deems appropriate, into giving up his employers. Sadly, the police here do neither.