China cracks down on spitting, litter

Updated: 2007-05-08 08:39

Beijing has fined more than 50 people for spitting in the past week's holiday, a report said on Monday, as Beijing steps up a campaign to "civilize" the city before the 2008 Olympics.

Officials also handed out more than 10,000 bags to tourists to try to keep them from littering as inspection teams fanned out across the city's tourist sites during the week-long Labor Day holiday, when hundreds of millions take to the roads.

"The Olympics are coming, and we don't want to get disgraced," Xinhua news agency quoted travel guide Huang Xiaohui as saying.

Guides had been instructed to remind tourists not to spit, litter or jump queues, and lead an "etiquette discussion" at the end of the tour, the report said, citing a circular issued by the China National Tourism Administration.

China also has an official etiquette watchdog, the Spiritual Civilization Steering Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, which aims to curb uncivilized behavior.

Chinese officials have expressed concern about rudeness and public spitting habits and launched campaigns to cultivate courtesy and civility, keen to ensure nothing mars Beijing's image during the Olympic Games.

Among the initiatives, the 11th day of every month is now "voluntarily wait in line" day, designed to stamp out pushing and shoving in favor of orderly queues.

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