Take all shark fin dishes off the menu before the 2008 Olympic Games, a
lawmaker proposed yesterday.
The issue was put on the table by Xu Zhihong, a deputy to the National
People's Congress and president of the prestigious Peking University, who said
yesterday that shark's fin soup, bear's paw and swallow's nest considered
delicacies and typically served at elaborate banquets might upset foreign
"Serving shark fin to foreign guests during the Olympic Games could greatly
hurt China's image, and officials should start removing the dish from the dining
tables right now," he said.
He added that restaurants should also keep away from other wildlife like
snakes during the Games. "It is not only an environmental issue, but one that
has a direct bearing on the image of Chinese people," he said.
Figures show that shark fin imports have been soaring in China in recent
years despite efforts by Chinese NBA star Yao Ming and gymnastics legend Li Ning
last year to convince people to stop eating the dish.
It is not just eating that has caught the attention of lawmakers and
political advisors smoking in public has also come under attack.
Smoking should only be allowed in the open and in designated areas, Zi
Huajun, a CPPCC member, said on Monday.
In response, Beijing's vice-mayor, Liu Jingmin, said yesterday that Games
organizers have talked with Ministry of Health officials "about setting aside
special smoking areas in Games venues so as to ensure most parts of the venues
are tobacco free."
(China Daily 03/14/2007 page1)