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  • Aug 31, 2014
  • Updated: 5:24pm
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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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18

This article is now closed to comments

fall3stories
NO! I am based in Canada but spend most of my year in Asia for work. Every time I go to HK, Macau, or Taiwan I cant believe that those people have the same origins as mainlanders. Chinese are unquestionably the most selfish people on the planet. Unless you are in their inner circle they will happily step on you, spit on you and let their kids urinate where you stand.
Anyone who says it is about their poor past is wrong-if that is true why is the level of civilization so much more elevated in places like Vietnam. Chinese people treat southeast Asians like garbage but their behavior is world's above the Chinese.
My experience is ABCs are humiliated by mainlanders and rightfully so.
lucifer
Probably not, seeing that another Mainland woman allowed her child to take a pi$$ on the MTR....
sienna.lai
They must be taken down a notch (or two or three) in order to learn!
eamercedes
Does anyone actually understand the reason for so much chinese bashing and ridicule? It is due to the fact that the chinese are near universally hated. While there certainly are other people doing some of what the chinese do, given the vast number of chinese tourists, multiply their disgusting action by the sheer number, even minor infraction could do great harm to civilization. Before the chinese are educated enough, they should not be let out of china as their actions reflect badly on their country and their own self.
Camel
Here you can see a bunch of foreigners and young disillusioned HKners (and wanna be foreigners if they could) writing and bashing. A shame for HK.
bolshoi
@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.
ShazBo
First of all: I don't know anyone in Hong Kong who thinks they're a foreigner.
Second of all: I don't know anyone in Hong Kong who thinks they're a foreigner!
Last I checked we're not Taiwanese...
People from Hong Kong have always referred ourselves as Chinese, so to bring up such laughable idiotic allegation makes you look like the typical uneducated 外江佬
lucifer
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.
bolshoi
@ShazBo: Haha, guess who comes off looking uneducated?
johnh
So anyone who stands up against rude mainlanders is (in your mind) automatically a foreigner or young disillusionsed Hong Konger?
ssslmcs01
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.
tfung
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..
layleng
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 ****.
carmeledwin
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.
lucifer
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.
reubenm
"...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."
babyhenry
You certainly show class.
Byebye
I have seen "keep off the grass" sign, next fountains?
 
 
 
 
 

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