Monday, July 21, 2008

Beijing bars told not to serve Mongolians during the Olympics

Came across this article in the Age. Excerpts:

Beijing police have been visiting bar owners in the popular Sanlitun area and asking them to sign pledges agreeing to not serve black people or Mongolians and ban activities including dancing.

Bar owners said that police have been clamping down on black people and Mongolians, who are sometimes implicated in drug dealing and prostitution, as part of an Olympic clean-up campaign that they and locals fear will make for a secure but sterile Games.

Maggies, Beijing's most notorious expatriate bar, referred to as the "Mongolian embassy" because of its popularity with Mongolian prostitutes and Western men, was shut suddenly about two months ago after a reported murder.

Read the full article here

There isn't much I want to say about this new policy or the "Mongolian embassy" for that matter. The question I have is: how will they know a Mongolian? Can't the person just lie and say he or she is a Korean or a Japanese? Or would one need to produce a photo ID to buy drinks in China during the Olympics? And what do they mean by "black people"? Just any random black person is suspect? Perhaps a better solution for the Chinese government is to put up signs outside their bars in bold letters: "No Mongolians and Blacks Allowed". That should show the traditional Chinese hospitality to all the tourists during the Olympics.

Authorities deny the ban. More on this here and here.