The Beijing Olympic Organising Committee (BOCOG) has just issued a 57-para “legal guide” 《奥运期间外国人入境出境及在中国停留期间法律指南》for all you foreigners intending to visit China during the upcoming Olympics. The document is available here on the BOCOG website but curiously enough, it is available only in Chinese and not in any other language. Perhaps they decided to save themselves the effort because they knew all the foreign media would translate them anyway. Here are some lovely excerpts as translated by the WSJ’s China Journal:
No. 22: Is it possible to sleep out in the city?
In order to protect the urban public hygiene and a civilized appearance, it is prohibited to sleep in public places, including airports, train stations, piers, pedestrian crossings (both sky bridges and underground passages) and grassy areas.
No. 32: Is China entirely open to foreign tourists?
China is not currently fully open to foreigners, foreigners who have not obtained permits should not enter areas that are not open to the
No. 36: How are the business hours of entertainment venues regulated?
Entertainment venues may not do business between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.
No. 45: Must foreigners carry documentation?
Foreigners should carry documentation. In carrying out their duties, the foreign affairs police at the county level or above have the right to examine the passports and other papers of foreigners.
No. 47: At cultural, sports and other large-scale mass activities, is it possible to display slogans, banners and other articles?
China prohibits the display of insulting slogans, banners and other articles at sports grounds, and prohibits the display at Games venues of any religious, political or ethnic slogans, banners and other items.
No. 50: How are drunk people handled?
When appearing drunk, if a drunk person poses a threat of danger to himself/herself or to other persons, property or the public safety, public security organs should take protective measures toward [the drunk person] until he/she is sober.
No. 56: What regulations does China have on behavior that insults the national flag or national emblems?
Criminal liability will be pursued according to the law for the following acts: willful burning, damaging, soiling, defacing, trampling and other methods of insulting the national flag and national emblems on public occasions.
In related news, BOCOG has had to apologise for a training manual it published for volunteers that sparked a huge outcry among Paralympic bodies worldwide for its “inappropriate language” and stereotypes of people with disabilities such as the following:
[…disabled people] “show no differences in sensation, reaction, memorisation and thinking mechanism from other people, but they might have unusual personalities because of disfigurement and disability”.
“For example, some physically disabled are isolated, unsocial, and introspective; they usually do not volunteer to contact people,” it said.
“They can be stubborn and controlling; they may be sensitive and struggle with trust issues.
“Sometimes they are overly protective of themselves, especially when they are called crippled or paralysed.”
BOCOG has since recalled the booklet citing “cultural difference and mistranslation” but a check by AAP found that the original Chinese version of the manual contained the “same clumsy stereotypes” referring to the disabled.
Photo from Theo WL Jones