Has Chinese-tourist bashing gone too far? | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 28, 2015
  • Updated: 8:33pm
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PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 July, 2013, 11:15am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 July, 2013, 2:19pm

Has Chinese-tourist bashing gone too far?

BIO

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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