Knickers in a knot over topless foreigner

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 September, 2009, 12:00am

A two-hour fracas broke out on a beach near Shanghai when a woman insisted on sunbathing topless.

The woman, apparently Chinese-Dutch, picked a quiet beach spot on Monday and removed her bikini top, the news site reported.

The staff at Bihai Jinsha Resort, south of the city, were alerted after beach-goers took offence and tried to intervene. However, the woman, described as in her 30s, refused to cover her breasts.

'We encouraged her to put her clothes back on, but she said she was sunbathing and not affecting other people,' a resort employee told the website. 'She told us she had only just applied sun lotion and would leave after three hours.

'She said she was not Chinese, but a Dutch national, and that it was very common for people to sunbathe topless overseas.'

A female police officer was called but the woman claimed discrimination due to her Asian looks, as they would not have interfered if a Westerner had done the same.

The resort employee said: 'In the three years Bihai Jinsha has been operating, there has never been a foreigner who sunbathed naked.'

Public nudity is rare on the mainland. Actress Zhang Ziyi sparked outrage this year after paparazzi photos were published showing her sunbathing partially naked on a private beach in the Caribbean.

The first open attempt at establishing a nudist bathing spot was at a mountain resort in Hongya county, Sichuan , in 2002. It was closed in a government crackdown the following year, but reopened under a different name this June.