The Power Shift

Toy planes targeted in Beijing's newest 'Sparta' rule

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2012, 12:50pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 November, 2012, 5:54pm

Following the ill fate of taxis and fruit knives, toy planes in Beijing are also facing a crackdown ahead of the 18th party congress.

Residents in Beijing now need to present their identification cards to purchase a remote-controlled toy plane, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Thursday. The procedure is almost as strict as boarding a real airplane.

Authorities apparently regard toy planes more “threatening” than real ones. Perhaps it is because toy planes can be harder for the police to monitor – plus, these pilots don’t need any licence.

So when toy planes do take over the skies of Tiananmen Square, police can now track the buyer or arrest the seller if no ID is registered.

The toy plane announcement comes just days before the opening of 18th party congress on November 8. Authorities are also clamping down on fruit knives (don’t buy them!) and campaigning via taxi (keep windows and doors tightly shut!).

The music industry in China is also falling victim to the newest “Sparta” rules. (“Sparta”, which sounds like shi ba da, is the nickname for the 18th party congress, used by Chinese netizens to get around government censors.)

Popular lyricist Gao Xiaosong wrote on his Weibo that major TV stations have began banning songs with the word “die” or “down” in it because of fears over bad luck.

Does this mean the party is officially into superstition now?

Popular Sina weibo user Zuoyeben made a list of new “Sparta” rules in Beijing:

  1. Knives and scissors are forbidden on trains.
  2. Travellers’ crotches are subjected to airport security check up.
  3. Passengers need to fill out a form for taxi rides on Chang An Street.
  4. Rear windows of  taxis can no longer be opened.
  5. Music concerts are postponed.
  6. Knives are no longer for sale.
  7. Outdoor shootings of big motion pictures are postponed.
  8. Releasing balloons is banned.
  9. Private jets are forbidden to fly.
  10. Trucks are banned within Beijing’s 5th Ring road.
  11. ID cards are required to buy remote-controlled toy planes.
  12. Schools are forbidden to organise field trips.
  13. Massage salons are asked to remain open in the evenings.