China’s president made a rather controversial statement this week that is certain to enrage his base supporters—beseeching his countrymen to quit eating so many instant noodles when they are on vacation.
According to Reuters, Xi made the comment during his visit to the Maldives
“Let me interrupt and say something here — we should also educate our citizens to be civilized when traveling abroad,” Xi said to laughter and applause during a Sept. 15 event with the Chinese ambassador, according to China News Service. “Don’t litter water bottles, don’t destroy their coral reef. Eat less instant noodles and more local seafood.”
The quip comes in response to the island-shattering “Great Noodle Boycott of 2013” that began when luxury resorts in the Maldives stopped providing hot water for Chinese travelers to make instant noodles since that was all they were eating.
China is the main source of tourists to the Maldives, according to the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time blog, with 230,000 visiting the nation in 2012. More than 100 million Chinese citizens travel abroad annually, making their diets big business. Usually this is a very good thing for the cupped noodle industry that reported 46 million packets of noodles sold to Chinese consumers last year (seems a little low? might have forgotten to move the zero?), more than 43 percent of the total consumed worldwide, according to the Washington Post.
Xi should think about adding his advice to the to the Communist Party’s already lengthy list of ‘Things You Should Never Do Abroad At Risk Of Shaming Your Homeland’ featuring other helpful travel tips like: don’t urinate in public pools or don’t deface priceless artifacts with your stupid name.
Of course, Xi failed to mention any restrictions on eating baozi.
by Alex Linder
[Image via Xinhua]