The Chinese are becoming security paranoid in advance of the start of the Beijing Olympics, which start in 8 short weeks. Here are some of the things they have done:
- Bars around the city are being prohibited from allowing dancing.
- Bars are also being prohibited from serving black people or Mongolians, because of fear of drug dealing and prostitution. (I’m sure that will go over really well with many black athletes!)
- Several bars, including one that catered to gays, have been shut down entirely. Also six bars and restaurants inside the Beijing Workers’ Stadium have been closed so the stadium can be used for Olympic soccer matches.
- Discos, Karaoke bars, and other entertainment venues must install transparent partitions allowing a clear view into previously private rooms. In addition, staff must dress more modestly.
- Entertainers who “threaten national unity”, “whip up ethnic hatred”, “violate religious policy or cultural norms”, or “advocate obscenity or feudalism and superstition” have been banned (that covers just about every entertainer I can think of other than perhaps Donny and Marie).
- In addition, there are bizarre restrictions on couriers. There is a ban on transporting CD-ROMs, and mobile phones or GPS devices can be sent by courier only if their batteries are sent separately.
- Liquids and powders cannot be mailed.
- Hundreds of armed checkpoints have been set up on all roads leading into Beijing, and automobiles not registered in Beijing have been banned until after the Olympics, causing massive delays and traffic problems.
UPDATE: WaPo is reporting that China is becoming a hostile place for foreigners.