Campaign against spitting just a drop in the bucket
Beijing has renewed its annual campaign against spitting and littering in public ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Zhang Huiguang , director of the Capital Ethic Development Office, said more fines would be imposed this year.
'We will require law enforcement officials to step up the frequency of fines, so that the campaign against spitting can have obvious effects,' she said.
The government introduced a regulation banning spitting and littering in 1993 and later brought in fines of up to 50 yuan for the offences. But a series of annual campaigns have failed to eradicate the bad habits.
Ms Zhang said many people flouted the ban and too few law enforcement staff were cracking down. Quoting a survey last year of more than 10,000 residents, she said spitting and littering were cited as the two most offensive and widespread habits the city government needed to tackle.
She said more trash boxes with clear warnings about fines would be set up in main streets and small 'spitting bags' would be provided in public places, such as buses, taxis and the subway.
A public awareness campaign will be followed by media and mobile phone messages to 'teach people the right way to spit'.
'People should spit into a tissue or a bag, then place it in a dustbin to complete the civilised process of spitting,' she said.
The authorities would also try to educate hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from rural areas, who had no access to the media to improve their manners.