China’s Tourism Blacklist: ‘Without the Red Army, How Can You Live a Happy Life?’

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Vacationers from the People’s Republic have acquired a reputation for being unruly at times, and have lately made global headlines by attacking flight attendants, fighting in airplane aisles and opening emergency doors in non-emergency situations

Colum Murphy reports: Here’s a new addition to China’s growing list of do’s and don’ts for citizens when traveling at home and abroad: don’t snap a selfie while sitting on the head of a Red Army warrior when visiting a place that considers itself a holy land of Maoist China.

 “Are these people raised by monkeys? Whatever they see at scenic spots, trees or statues, they climb up for pictures.”

— Sina Weibo user Li Biyou

That’s exactly what 18-year-old Li Wenchun did on a recent visit to what’s known as a red tourism site —and now he’s paying the price.

The incident took place in the city of Yan’an, in northern Shaanxi province, famous in Communist Party history as the endpoint of the Long March. On its website, the government of Yan’an says the city “is reputed as a world-renowned holy land of Chinese revolution,” where “tourists are organized to learn knowledge of revolutionary history and attend theme activities for traditional revolutionary education and experience broadening.”

“What an ignorant man. Without the Red Army, how can you live a happy life?”

— Another Sina Weibo user

The only things Mr. Li widened were his legs. Photographs of him circulating on the Internet show him dressed in a black shirt and trousers and wearing red sneakers, striking a pose on the heroic head of a bronze statue of a female warrior.

As a result of this stunt, Mr. Li has become one of the first Chinese to be added to a blacklist that China’s national tourism authority said earlier this year it would introduce to discourage Chinese vacationers from misbehaving while traveling.

Vacationers from the People’s Republic have acquired a reputation for being unruly at times, and have lately made global headlines by attacking flight attendants , fighting in airplane aisles and opening emergency doors in non-emergency situations.

Earlier reports suggested wayward tourists would be kept on the blacklist for up to two years. Unfortunately for Mr. Li, it appears…(read more)

WSJ

–Colum Murphy with contributions from Rose Yu. Follow Colum on Twitter @Colum_M

 



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