• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 8:56pm
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 July, 2013, 11:15am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 July, 2013, 2:19pm

Has Chinese-tourist bashing gone too far?


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for SCMP.com. Amy can be reached at chunxiao.li@scmp.com, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

Nobody has as more distaste for “rude” Chinese tourists than their own compatriots - judging by the fervour with which some Chinese media "expose" such “uncivilised” acts at every opportunity. But in the latest example, people wonder if the media have gone too far.

Chinese tourists - loved and hated by many - were again ridiculed and criticised after some were recently pictured getting a foot spa, first at West Lake in China’s historic Hangzhou city, and then at a fountain outside the Louvre museum in Paris.

The photos were reported by Chinese media, including the nationalist People’s Daily website. But given the ongoing debate about whether the image of Chinese tourists has been deteriorating overseas, it’s no surprise the Louvre story was treated much more seriously.

Among the more sensational headlines was “Foreigners dumbfounded as Chinese turn Louvre fountain into feet-washing basin” and “Chinese feet-washing army takes over Louvre”.

The exaggerated reports were soon challenged by more than a few, who argued that the Asian-looking woman in the photo might not even be Chinese. Others pointed out that people of all races have been photographed putting their bare feet into the same fountain. It’s really not just the Chinese.

Given the summer heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring throughout Central Europe, why not give our tourists a break, pleaded others.

If it’s of any comfort, officials in Hangzhou said the lake’s water quality will not be affected by the foot-dippers.


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This article is now closed to comments

You certainly show class.
They must be taken down a notch (or two or three) in order to learn!
@Camel: Your comment is spot on! Some Hongkongers, especially those young disillusioned ones as you rightly put it, are nothing but a shame. They have realised that they are a failure and there's nothing they can do about it. So they scapegoat the mainlanders to let their frustrations out. I simply pitty them, full stop.
For every instance Mainland Chinese are faulted for anything...there is an equivalent somewhere on the planet that occured within the last 1000 years that should excuse their conduct in today's world.
I have seen "keep off the grass" sign, next fountains?
"...the Mainland Chinese tourist needs educating, same as the Japanese tourists of years ago. " And until that happens, the bashing of ignorant, rude Chinese tourists will continue. Those who display cultural awareness are not "bashed."
Question...in your mind are Singapore CHinese Foriegners? Don't they consider themselves Chinese? Second, are the several hundred thousand Ethnic Chinese with valid U.K. travel documents residing in Hong Kong foriegners? I guess its all a matter of context. For example, in the mainland, no matter what nationality you hold, if you are ethnic Chinese, then you are "Chinese"....until you are accused of something bad, then you are also a foreigner. Suprising how many Chinese want themselves and their Children to be foriegenrs.
@ShazBo: Haha, guess who comes off looking uneducated?




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