Chinese the New ‘Ugly Americans’?

May 30, 2013 8:57am

Move over America. When it comes to bad behavior abroad, you’ve got some competition.

After a Chinese teenager defaced an ancient Egyptian temple, the Chinese government called on its citizens  to behave in a civilized manner while traveling. The regulations were composed by the  National Tourism Administration and posted on the Chinese government’s website earlier this week, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

Improper behavior: spitting, littering, vandalizing, jay-walking and line-cutting. 

It also asks citizens to protect the cultural treasures of other nations.

The 15-year-old boy who defaced the temple  scratched “Ding Jinhao visited here” in Chinese on a temple wall in the ancient city of  Luxor, The Associated Press reported.  ”The incident came to light when another Chinese tourist posted a photo of it on a popular microblog with the comment: ‘My saddest moment in Egypt. Ashamed and unable to show my face,’”‘ the AP reported.

Xinhua reported that the directive “rejects behaviors such as doodling on, or carving characters into, ancient relics, as well as climbing or touching cultural relics.”

Photos can only be taken of relics when allowed by local regulations.

The incident was publicly criticized by prominent figures in China.  The AP reported a popular Chinese television journalist wrote, “Why there are so many citizens who go abroad and humiliate us? How many generations will it take to change this kind of behavior?”

The People’s Daily Newspaper (publication of the ruling Communist party) wrote in a commentary,  ”In the process of modernization, how have the people come to lack modern manners and consciousness?”

Other rules to be followed by Chinese citizens include maintaining a clean environment, complying with public orders, protecting ecology, protecting public infrastructure and utilities, respecting other people’s rights, showing courtesy when with others and seeking appropriate entertainment.

“Being a civilized tourist is the obligation of each citizen,” according to the regulations.

The outcry prompted a public apology from the teen’s parents, according to the AP.

“The child has committed a mistake and the main responsibility falls on the adults,” the boy’s dad  reportedly said. “It was because we did not supervise him well, and have not taught him well.”

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