Beijing Has Issued a New Blacklist of 'Uncivilized Behaviors'

By Katherine Chen, July 26, 2019

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Beijing authorities have decreed types of behavior that cause public disturbances, such as harming fish and birds, spitting and littering, have become official no-nos in hope of creating better park environments, Xinhua reports. Starting July 23, such changes will be made public through posters and radio broadcasts across the capital.

In recent years, Beijing officials have taken a number of steps to improve enjoyment of the city's parks. Citizens have thus been able to enjoy the sounds of nature, the colors of each season and an abundance of flora.

However, some faults remain; a number of harmful actions, dubbed “uncivilized behavior,” continue to haunt public parks. From picking flowers, breaking branches, digging bamboo shoots, disturbing wild birds, swimming or fishing in prohibited areas, smoking, using high-decibel sound equipment and even whipcracking, authorities assert that these harmful acts are damaging parks.

Recently, authorities have taken steps nationwide to halt increasingly unwanted behaviors in public areas.  Earlier this month, we saw a crackdown on the infamous ‘Beijing Bikini’ in Jinan, in which men roll their shirts above their stomachs to cool down in the summer heat. In Tianjin, a similar “civilizing campaign” took place. Two years ago in Beijing itself, the government put a halt to the loud public dancing grannies.

Authorities have taken another step, not only to curb unwanted behavior from people, but to protect parks and their ecological landscapes. The Beijing Landscape Architecture and Afforestation Bureau, the Beijing Municipal Park and Green Land Association and the Beijing Municipal Green Envoy Volunteer Service Team have combined forces to issue an official proposal for civilized parks and a blacklist to condemn uncivilized behaviors.

The proposal for civilized parks covers six elements to protect park facilities, animals, water, and grass. It also enforces more civilized behavior within the park, banning swearing, shirtless parkgoers, loud noises and lying down on benches.

On the blacklist of uncivilized behaviors, the crackdown targets spitting, littering, lighting fires, digging plants, catching animals, as well as climbing over walls, railings and fences. The blacklist is also an effort to keep activities within their allotted spaces, limiting swimming, skating and fishing to their respective zones.

With these changes, national and municipal authorities hope to pave more livable environments to provide a higher quality of life for their citizens. While many “uncivilized behaviors” have been the norm for decades, such changes signal a shift in awareness of public image as well as a hope to improve the experiences in public spaces.

It also seems like an order in step with Shanghai’s strict new recycling policies, introduced at the beginning of this month. Over 600 businesses who have failed to meet new policies have already received notices in public inspections.

[Cover image via Wiki]

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