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China’s Decision to Keep a Blacklist of Misbehaving Tourists Sparks a Lively Online Debate

Posted: 01/26/2015 8:00 am
passenger fight airline

A fight caused by a crying baby on board a Hong Kong flight.

It has been a rough couple of months for the reputation of China’s tourists. First there was the couple who threw boiling hot water at a flight attendant and threatened to blow up the plane, then there was the impatient passenger who deployed the plane’s emergency slide on the runway, and then another passenger who decided to do the same. With all of the airline mayhem making the reputation of beleaguered Chinese tourists even worse, China’s National Tourism Association (NTA) has finally stepped in with a solution.

The NTA has announced that it will start keeping tabs on Chinese tourists. The association plans to document, and rank misbehaving Chinese, storing their names in a central database. The information will then be passed on to inquiring travel agents and tour operators to keep them apprised of just who they’re dealing with.

The reaction among netizens has been mixed. While many welcomed the NTA’s decision, expressing genuine concern that China’s reputation is being tarnished abroad, not everyone agrees. In a report in the Observer, one commenter in particular, Shelbycobra, described another method for “dealing with Chinese tourists”:

I’ve traveled abroad extensively and have learned how to treat Chinese tourists, especially the large groups. Look them right in the eye, walk right into them and knock them down, even the old ladies. That’s what they understand. If you don’t you better just stand back and let them take advantage of you. I knocked an old Chinese lady down in Turkey who ran under me to get at the head of a line. She didn’t try it again.

Shelbycobra was not alone. A number of netizen comments expressed a similar sentiment, suggesting Chinese all too often display a poor sense of character abroad. Others were only too happy at the suggestion that a foreigner knocked down an old Chinese woman for cutting in line:

(referring to old woman who was knocked down) Well deserved!

Those that don’t comply with rules of etiquette should be punished.

Well deserved. If there weren’t any civil liability laws in China, I’d like to beat them up too. Because there’s too many of these kinds of people, there is neither waiting or cutting in line. Dear me.

If only these types of people from our country could be beaten to death, China’s citizens could lead a happy and blessed life.

Others offered a more classist explanation:

The majority of Chinese have become cultured, it’s just a few people who need adjustment. This loss of face though is on an international level…

These are all priviledged and spoiled people. There aren’t any examples of common folk doing (bad things), and what’s more, they wouldn’t dare do it in the first place.

Some people have gotten rich, but their inner quality hasn’t followed.

Not everyone was in agreement with the NTA’s decision. A number of Chinese netizens outright rejected the notion that Chinese tourists are capable of misbehaving at all:

Foreigners murder and set fires all over the place. They are always using one small vice in order to denounce an entire country; isn’t this an example of even worse behaviour? If you are of exceptional quality, or if your opinions aren’t so vile, then we would be willing to examine ourselves in accordance with our foreign friends to determine the shortcomings of our country. Also, you don’t have anything (special) to be proud of.

Laowai are speaking utter nonsense. They probably mistake old ladies who are actually Japanese and South Korean as Chinese (and knock them down again).

This is just another ridiculous trick to smear the reputation of the Chinese people.

朱健 (responding to above)
No one is smearing anyone. Cutting in line, spitting and littering all over the place have all become standard habits for our countrymen.

And then this netizen that offered a more extreme solution:

妖孽白、づ Yoon A:
I propose sending an atomic bomb to those idiot laowai.

妖孽白、づ Yoon A:
Screw inner essence. Chinese simply like to spit everywhere, jaywalk, and not comply with public decorum. Not only that, but Chinese would like to set fire to the Louvre and the Fontainebleau. Chinese cause trouble on board airplanes [because they just like to]. If you want to forbid Chinese from entering your borders, oh you sacred people, then go ask the descendants of the Eight-Nation Alliance (a group of foreign nations involved in a military intervention in northern China in 1900).

Given the frequency of media reports lambasting Chinese tourists, it will be interesting to see what, if any, effect the NTA’s new program will have.

Photo: People’s Daily Online

  • Some guy

    The people blaming foreigners are in a whole new class of ridiculous.

  • jacob

    What a comments ??? Especially those with extreme solutions. Those should be banned now even to enter Hong Kong. Referring to what happen 1900 makes than that much at same level as 1900. I have to remind everyone that Chinese were living in caves in 1900 where westerners were enjoying great life. But anyway, bad behaviour eg. throwing water or abusive language should be treated as assault a specially if is towards those who are looking after our safety (fight attendants) if you assault flight attendant and tell her white bitch than is assault with racism , up to 5 years in prison in UK. There are only few which are behaving like that and I have seen many foreigners behaving bad too. Just matter of the education. Perhaps peasants without formal educations should be banned to travel as they more promoted to weird behaviours than educated young office workers.

    About spitting , i india people eating some red herbs and are spitting too and is just horrible. Just when you in another country try to apologise if it happens as I understand that is normal in china but does not look good in another country. Obviously is disgusting.

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