Authorities confirmed that foreigners cannot camp at the Dongping National Forest Park in Chongming Island after a British national complained that he had been prohibited from setting up a tent there because he wasn’t Chinese, Shanghai Daily reports.
“I live in Shanghai, I have a residence permit, but I’m not allowed to enjoy the same recreational activities as the locals because I’m a foreigner,” the Briton wrote on the Shanghai Expat website under the ID “MrHello123”.
“I’m sure a Chinese person in the UK or America would be pretty upset if they went to a campsite and were told ‘sorry, you can’t camp here because you are Chinese,’” he said.
Chongming District said that it implemented a “Chinese only policy” for campers because the park doesn’t have the proper technology to register foreigners with the police, as is required under Chinese law.
Yang Lei, Chongming District head of news, confirmed the ban on foreigners, but said this will be remedied.
“The park has been working with the police to install the system to meet with the increasing interest from foreign tourists,” Yang told Shanghai Daily.
“However, we can’t say for sure when the system will be in place,” he added.
Until it is up and running, Yang advised foreign visitors to stay at island hotels that have registration systems.
“Tourist spots in Shanghai need to relax unnecessary rules to attract tourists and plan camping, as it’s very popular among foreign tourists,” Liu Deyan, associate professor at the Shanghai Institute of Tourism at Shanghai Normal University, said in the report.
It is required under Chinese law that foreigners register their temporary residence with police. Those who fail to do so could face fines of up to 2,000 yuan.
By Maggie Wong
[Image via joop.in]