• Sun
  • Aug 24, 2014
  • Updated: 1:05am
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

Putting your feet in the water at the Louvre may not be a great idea, I'm sure the water isn't very clean. The thing that seems to irk more people is when Chinese call people foreigners. It is even more irking when Chinese call people foreigners in their own country, for example Chinese calling French people foreigners while they, the Chinese are visitors in France. They use the word foreigner as an adjective to describe non-han looking people's nationality.
I guess in all those English language classes people are attending all around China, non of the students have been taught to say something a little less offensive and maybe more welcoming like visitors or foreign nationals.
If people actually saw how dirty that water outside the Louvre is, , they probably wouldn't care less that a couple of Chinese are soaking their feet in it... I would be going ewww not because of their manners, but because they actually put their feet into that filthy looking water..
So disingenuous. The timing, place and context of the mainland ****' actions differed from the other instances you cited so, NO, Chinese tourist bashing can never go too far. For instance, your article was perfectly timed to coincide with the arrest of a Chinese tourist who deliberately defaced Washington DC national monuments with green paint. And also coincides with the report of another incident of a mainland mini-choge urinating in an MTR train. Filthy ****.
If you ask the older generation, Japanese tourists were just as bad in the past. In fact, I think we all seen rude and arrogant tourists of all race, not just the Mainland Chinese. I seen white rude and arrogant tourists in Hong Kong as well. We must bear in mind that the Mainland Chinese tourist needs educating, same as the Japanese tourists of years ago.
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.
"...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."
You certainly show class.
I have seen "keep off the grass" sign, next fountains?




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