Monday, March 19, 2007

China seeks to eliminate public spitting by 2008 Beijing Olympics

A recent Fox News article reports that Chinese officials only have 500 more days to eliminate public spitting before proving to the world that they are a civilized nation at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. How will they enforce it? Well, officials hinted at posing fines on public spitters, but I'll be surprised if any of this will work. I've read horror stories of wintertime icy spit slicks near bus stops (and other areas of high traffic) that take down even the most careful pedestrians.

Adviser Zi Huayun declared the "four key bad habits of Chinese: spitting, not waiting in line, widespread smoking and swearing in the Beijing dialect." The first on their list to eliminate is the spitting, probably because it is the most atrocious, and noticeable, to foreign visitors. The Olympics Committee is really trying to improve their international image in preparations for the games.

I'll report back later this year about public spitting in Tianjin. Call me pessimistic, but I'm avoiding bus stops at all costs.