A teenager has been blacklisted by China’s top tourism authority after he was found to have sat on the head of a statue of a female Red Army soldier while posing for photos.
The move by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) means Li Wenchun, 18, would be closely watched whenever he visits a tourist site in China over the next 10 years, said the Beijing News.
Some netizens remarked that the blacklisting might even mean denial of entry to tourist sites since Mr Li’s particulars and picture are now stored in a nationwide database.
According to the South China Morning Post, the database is shared by China’s tour agencies, and the blacklisting move was introduced by CNTA early last month as the unruly behaviour of Chinese tourists kept making headlines around the world.
That suggests Mr Li would also be closely watched should he join any agency for a trip abroad.
It is not clear what penalties blacklisted tourists would face should they continue to be unruly.
The Post also said that Mr Li, who is unemployed, is not the first person to be blacklisted. He was preceded by a woman who had kicked up a row on board a Thai AirAsia flight in December.
Complaining that the service on board the budget flight was too slow, the woman threw hot water and noodles at a flight stewardess.
Mr Li had earlier apologised for his act, committed in a park in north-western Shaanxi province’s Wuqi county on April 24.
Mr Li, a native of Wuqi, had visited the park – built to commemorate the end of the Red Army’s Long March in 1935 – with friends.
Records show that the Red Army, under Mao Zedong, completed the 10,000km trek beginning in south-eastern China and passing through many enemy territories before reaching Wuqi, where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) consolidated itself.
Photos posted online show that Mr Li first pulled himself up onto the shoulders of the statues of two female Red Army soldiers before sitting on the head of one statue to pose for shots.
“This is outrageous and disrespectful as the statues represent the heroines of the CCP in its difficult days,” wrote one netizen.
Another said: “Any civilised tourist should know what can and cannot be done.”
Meanwhile, a female tour guide in Kunming, capital of south-western Yunnan province, was sacked some three weeks after a video of her scolding members of her tour group for not shopping enough went viral.
An official with the Yunnan Tourism Law Enforcement Division said the tour guide had flouted several rules, including using abusive language and forcing tourists to shop against their will.