China Lists Dos and Don’ts for Olympics-Bound Foreigners

Keith Bradsher of the New York Times reports on some of the limitations Beijing is putting on foreigners headed for this summer’s Olympic Games:

Do not bring any printed materials critical of China. Do not plan on holding any rallies or demonstrations in China. Do not think that you are guaranteed an entry visa because you hold tickets to an Olympic event. And do not even think about smuggling opium into China.

That is some of the eclectic advice issued by the Beijing Organizing Committee on Monday, in a document listing 57 questions that foreign visitors to the Olympic Games in August may have: “Does China have any regulation against insults to the flag or national emblems?” “After eating or drinking at restaurants or hotels, if you have diarrhea or vomiting symptoms, how do you lodge a complaint?”

The advisory to foreigners, posted on the committee’s Web site, but only in Chinese, provides answers for each question in a deadpan style. (Burning or soiling the Chinese flag or emblems is a criminal offense; food poisoning symptoms are to be reported to the local health department.) Some of the rules, like a ban on religious or political banners or slogans at Olympic sites, appear aimed at preventing protests of China’s crackdown in Tibet this year and other Chinese policies.

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