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Don't spit in Beijing.

China fined about 50 people for spitting in public. With the Olympics coming up soon China is worried that they will be disgraced. There are sweeping measures to improve Chinese citizens etiquette. Apparently one day each month has been designated to teach people how to wait in line. The Olympics for China is a chance to show how far they have come, economically and socially. The story comes from who else but the AP,
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/05/07/asia/AS-GEN-China-Spitting-Fines.php

The challenge for this story is something I noticed in one of the last graphs. A quote was taken from another source. I remember this being an issue during the Tall Hat Bar story, where some juicy information was given to a Fox news reporter and the temptation was set in front of us to use it. The AP reporter uses the phrase, was quoted as saying by Xinhua, to justify the quote. Obviously getting quotes for a story like this would be hard unless you were there, but still you would have to get a translator or find someone who knew english.

My comparison article,
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-05/07/content_866669.htm
mentions that clearing ones throat in public loudly is another offense China is hoping to crack down upon. I think there might be something lost in the translation here. Although when I was in China some natives told me it was illegal to spit in public, and I often saw people spitting into trash cans.

I think that some of these offenses are a bit ridiculous, but if that is their perogative then fine. I don't know who would be offended by spitting in public or clearing one's throat loudly, maybe someone is?