London’s Olympic Media Centre picks on Chinese for unruliness? Netizens report discrimination
July 29th, London. It was reported by Phoenix TV that Chinese journalists using the Olympic Media Centre in London had been offended by a sign posted only in Chinese asking the journalists to respect the personal space of those working at the centre and to ask before taking their photograph.
“To our Chinese journalist friends, please be aware of the London media centre staff, if you would like to film them or take their photo, please ask them beforehand and respect their personal space. Thank you!”
The article posted on Phoenix TV’s website claims that this sign shows a clash of two cultures. One netizen commented on the embarrassment that must have been felt by the journalists and the inappropriate nature of the public posting, saying, “The media centre is an open, public place, this kind of announcement shouldn’t be made on a public sign.”
According to the article, other netizens had commented that the staff of the media centre should be better trained to deal with this kind of situation and that they should “respect others as you respect yourself.”
The article then draws lines between this incident and other incidents of signs directed specifically at Chinese abroad, specifically in Japan where there are reportedly signs only in Chinese asking, “after using the toilet paper please flush it down the toilet.” And in Seoul where there are similar signs asking Chinese travellers not to steal.
However, the short article ends on a balanced note:
“Objectively speaking, the main problem in these situations is a clash of different cultures, to claim that it is about ‘quality of character’ （素质）is irrelevant. But then again, China has an old saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” （入乡随俗）So maybe it is necessary to show some respect to the customs of the host country.
The following are a selection of the 11,000 plus comments under a related Weibo post as of early morning 07/29 Beijing time.
This is obviously unfriendly discrimination. We should protest! Are the Western Paparazzi doing any better?
Reporters want respect and privacy. Hehe, what an irony! Isn’t it the reporters’ job to rake up others’ faults and intrude upon others’ privacy? This would be like a hooker asking for virginity.
I agree. If there is a little problem, just straighten it out. Why (they) had to post a sign? Clearly a wrong state of mind! International relationship is evolved from interpersonal relationship. This is the kind of act of a person who despise Chinese deep down. It is against the Olympic spirit! They have to apologize!
A netizen, who goes by the name UstbLeon, proudly posted in his Sina Weibo profile page a screenshot of a protest email he wrote to the London Media Centre, and in a later post, he announceed that he had heard from LMC, which sincerely apologized and immediately removed the sign.
But quite a number of people think it is a fuss over nothing and probably time for some soul-searching over the lack of civility displayed by some Chinese.
Before we come to judge if they were being racist, let’s first figure out if they were being right, okay? Chinese people always do those despicable things abroad, and they don’t want others to talk about it? Evidently they had complained before, but it didn’t work, so they had to use this method! Stop loving the country so much as to be blind to the very things others hate you for!! Those annoying Chinese do not represent the real Chinese people. The real Chinese people make sense and are civilized!
animal-lover：We often have no regard for others’ feelings.
JIAN康慢生活：The basic principle of conduct: Only by respecting others can one earn others’ respect. But it is too often a missing link in our education (at home, at school and in the society).
透明笔记：It is true that London’s Olympic Media Centre has crossed the line. But it is enough to demonstrate the ‘unique’ angle and taste of our journalists. That the family history of Yi Siling (Chinese shooter, London Olympic Games’ first gold medalist) has been dug up overnight is another telling proof. Meanwhile, every time Chinese are met with questions, aggression or attacks from abroad, their first reaction is invariably to take out national dignity and respond in a tough way. Or if the question comes from inside the country, there will be endless insults and denigration. Proactive soul-searching is rarely seen.