You may be Chinese, you may be a nice guy, you may always put down the toilet seat, you may the hero to volunteer the line “If it’s all the same to you, I’ll drive that tanker.” All these things may be true and more, but the Chinese media won’t let you forget: there are many people out there who don’t like you. Foreigners. Outside of China. Doing foreigning, and whatnot.
In case you’ve forgotten and have lost your righteous sense of fear, the travel section of Sohu has compiled this handy list of past instances of discriminatory acts against Chinese tourists. This list originally started with the recent “Hot Water-Gate” scandal in the Maldives, and can be seen here, as so does not begin with #1.
Maldives Hotel Discontinues Hot Water Facilites to Prevent the Consumption of Instant Noodles: Recent Instances of Discrimation Against Chinese People Outside of China
2. Only Chinese Tourists are Required to Pass an Examination Before Being Permitted to Go Scuba Diving
Diving is one of the Maldives’ unique characteristics [that establish it as a popular tourist destination], whether is scuba diving in deep water or snorkeling in shallow water. All Chinese tourists visiting many of the holiday resorts in the Maldives and wanting to partake in diving activities must face certain “restrictions”.
At the Diveoceanus diving center on Paradise Island, a rule is in place whereby that any Chinese partaking in diving activities are only allowed to dive to a depth of 3 meters for a total time of half an hour. The price for this activity is still the normal rate of 188 USD [charged for all clients]. At Club Med Kani, it is only Chinese tourists that are required to pass a test in order to go diving; those that don’t pass this test are prevented from participating. Workers at the holiday resort say that this is a precaution for the tourist’s own safety. However, many tourists have stated that only participants of Chinese nationality are required to pass this examination. Says [a person], “Before registration for diving activities, [the diving center] asks for our nationalities; anyone from Japan or South Korea are not obligated to take the test.”
3. Taiwanese Restaurant Recycles Food to Sell to Mainland Tourists
A former employee with the famous White Sand Harbor restaurant in Malibai, Taidong province in Taiwan has [made allegations that] expose the restaurant for recycling the food on old cold dishes to be re-sold to mainland Chinese tourists that arrive; this fired employee estimates that over 10,000 of these mainland tourists [have eaten this food]. Upon learning this news, some mainland tourists have stated, “How disgusting! So malicious!”
This fired employee of the White Sand Harbor restaurant has alleged that this restaurant took leftover vegetables, dried meats, salted fish, pork and chicken and re-arranged upon a new plate to be recycled [for sale to the next group of mainland tourists that come in]. This whistle-blower has also recorded 14 minutes of video on a cell phone in which pickled carrots are recycled from an outside area, immediately divided onto 4 steel plates which are then again redistributed onto other smaller plates; even the dipping sauce is reused in this fashion.
4. Mainland Chinese Tourists Permitted to Only Use Bathroom Exit of [Taiwan Parliament]
Due to the fact that an increasing number of mainland tourists have been eating at the restaurant on premises, Taiwan’s parliament has cited “safety concerns” and reasons of “overcrowding and noise” to decide in June of 2010 that mainland tourists are only allowed to use the [side] safety door entrance next to the bathroom. Any mainland tourists decided to enter through the main entrance will be turned away. This has been the cause of protest for many mainland tourists with [someone] saying, “You want to earn my money, and yet you only allow me to use the side entrance? Taiwanese people have gone too far!”
A group of mainland tourist from Chongqing that were turned away [at the front door] and forced to use the side entrance. Of them, tourist Mr Li became incredibly angry upon learning of the circumstances of the situation. Mr Li criticized the side entrance as being small and narrow as well as being next to the bathroom. As well, Mr Li stated that there was a strange smell that could be detected upon using this entrance. “I have come to spend money; why am I not allowed to use the main entrance?” A Miss Wang echoed Mr Li’s sentiments by saying that the Taiwan legislature is not very friendly toward mainlanders. Miss Wang said, “My feelings are hurt; doesn’t Taiwan put the most emphasis upon its [great] service?”
5. US Border Customs Discriminatory Interrogations of Chinese Tourists
In April of 2011, a group of Chinese tourists have arrived in Seattle, USA on a Hainan Airways flight. When they were passing through US customs, these people encountered a very unpleasant experience. Miss Feng, a reporter who had entered and exited the USA on several occasions stated that, “All of us without exception had to open our suitcase for another inspection; many tourists had to take out all of the material in their suitcases for a rigorous check.” Miss Feng notes that the majority of tourists required to open their suitcases for further inspection were of Chinese ethnicity, something that made her quite upset.
This was the first trip to the USA for a Miss Zhong, who had taken a flight from Beijing to Seattle. Miss Zhong said, “According to the pertinent laws and regulations, US Customs indoubtly have the right to re-inspect luggage; this is something that we will co-operate with. However, what I don’t understand is that the luggage has already been inspected once before [at customs]. After passing through customs, any inspections made should be of a random variety. But I have discovered that among all my fellow travelers with a Chinese passport that all of us without exception have been required to submit to another inspection. Is this not a case of treating a problem by seeing the world through tinted glasses?”
A person working with the airport but not willing to reveal their identity has said that this reaction may be because many Chinese tourists do not understand how the US Custom system works. Chinese are accustomed to carrying on their person items like meat products or herbal medicine, items which can be classified as prohibited substances to be brought into the USA. Furthermore, Chinese tourists are accustomed to carrying large amounts of cash. These things may lead customs to deal with Chinese with “special circumstances”.
6. French Luxury Hotel Refuses to Accept Chinese Guests
In plans to open a new hotel in 2014, French designer label Zadig & Voltaire creator Thierry Gillier told the upper-tier fashion industry magazine “Women’s Wear Daily” in an October 2012 interview that “We will not accept Chinese tourists” because “in Paris, many people still require personal space and a quiet environment”. [Actual quote from magazine: “It won’t be open to Chinese tourists, for example. There is a lot of demand in Paris – many people are looking for quiet hotels with a certain privacy,”]
However, this magazine was immediately asked by Gillies to change the phrase “Chinese tourists” to “many tourists” [Quote from magazine: "busloads of tourists"]. But this move could still not stem the tide of Chinese anger that could be seen in posts and comments made upon the internet and social media saying things like, “This is clearly racism; not every Chinese is uncultured.”
Another netizen has said, “If this [hotel/brand] is adamant in refusing Chinese guests, then this pretentious/arrogent brand has just lost an important market.”
7. Chinese Tourists Victimized by Confiscation Policy of Singapore Airlines
On September 6th, 2009, a contingent made of 7 people from the Shenzhen law firm Guangdong Victory Land (now renamed Guangdong Gold Tang law firm) were travelling from Hong Hong via Singapore to the Maldives on a Singapore Airways flight that was booked by Kangtai travel agency in Shenzhen. On route in Hong Kong, these seven tourists first had to relinquish their visas, tickets and relevant travel documents before being allowed to check-in.
What was strange is that this airline did not take the same procedure when dealing with other Western passengers checking in. At all times throughout this journey, these seven passengers were monitored by security guards; even when wanting to use the bathroom at the airport, these passengers were instructed to ask for permission beforehand. As well, even after the plane arrived in the Maldives, Singapore Airlines still refused to return the confiscated travel documents back to the Chinese passengers. Instead, only when the rest of the passengers had first disembarked were the seven Chinese passengers escorted to the Maldivian border entry department. They were interrogated for over an hour, and then after no problem was found were they then let go.
8. The Incident Discriminating Against Chinese Tourists at the Galeries Lafayette
On February 11th, 2008, a Zhejiang husband and wife were travelling with a tour group in Paris, France. They were shopping at the Galeries Lafayette shopping center on Haussmann Boulevard when the authentic EU currency they were using was mistakenly thought to be counterfeit by the retail clerks in the mall. The couple were then subjected to injust treatment and discriminatory inspection. The couple were brought back to a police station by police officers for questioning, all the while being held in handcuffs, subjected to strip searches while being sneered at as well as other inhuman behavior. Quoting the words of the people involved, they were viewed as “criminals”.
A Chinese diplomat stationed in France was dispatched to negotiate. In the end Galeries Lafayette published an apology, but in the aftermath their attitude was still not enough to satisfy [those seeking reparations]. On February 23rd, the Chinese Tourist Association once again expressed its dissatisfaction and regret over this matter. Said a spokesperson, “Before we have reached an appropriate solution, I would suggest to other Chinese tourists going to Paris to not shop at this shopping center; travel agencies have also temporarily stopped organizing tour groups to make trips there.”