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Beijing spitters face heavy fines as Olympics approach

Updated: 2007-02-08 09:36

BEIJING - People spitting in the streets in Beijing will be fined up to 50 yuan (about US$6.5) in an effort to improve citizens' behavior ahead of the Olympics, an official said Wednesday.

After deciding that the 11th day of each month was Queuing Day on which people should queue in an orderly manner, like the two 1s in 11, Beijing has now adopted a different approach to restrain unattractive street behavior.

"Fifty yuan is a fairly hefty warning for spitters," said Zhang Huiguang, director of the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau.

In Beijing, 50 yuan is the daily income of a Chinese college graduate and can buy 16 subway tickets or 100 packs of paper handkerchiefs.

Beijing is trying to repress spitting, littering and milling crowds around bus stops and subway stations as the Olympics approach.

The capital city has sought to enrol the media and famous people in its efforts to build a more civilized city for the Olympics, and devised punishment and reward schemes and slogans for city districts.

"We want to raise citizens' awareness of civilized behavior, not just fine them," Zhang said.