Um really? Update on SCMP story III

Yet another update on the SCMP article that claims, “Beijing authorities are secretly planning to ban black people and others it considers social undesirables from entering the city’s bars during the Olympic Games” (or even sooner, given the comments of one bar owner quoted in a follow-up story). From the SCMP:

The Foreign Ministry yesterday denied reports that bars in a popular entertainment area in Beijing had been ordered not to serve black people and Mongolians. “The report was without any foundation,” spokesman Liu Jianchao was quoted as saying by China News Service. Beijing’s Public Security Bureau said officers from its station at Sanlitun – one of the capital’s prime bar districts – never told bar owners not to serve guests from any particular country or territory, Mr Liu said. All bars in Sanlitun were serving foreigners as usual, he added. Last week the South China Morning Post quoted bar owners in the area as saying they had been forced to sign an agreement that they would not serve black-skinned people. Bar owners near the Workers’ Stadium said they had been warned not to admit black people and others considered social undesirables. The sources were reluctant to go on the record. The Post also reported that the Sanlitun police had denied they were conducting a racist campaign ahead of the Games.

So, here’s the scorecard.

SCMP: There is a plan.

The government: There is no plan.

As noted in several posts (see bottom), I found little evidence to back the SCMP claim. As several readers point out, this does not disprove the newspaper’s claim or mean Beijing has a rosy history of bar scene race relations, not with prejudice toward blacks, friction caused by black drug dealers, and a significant police action last fall. But as other media are not revealing supporting evidence for the SCMP claim, this suggests the newspaper might have gotten off to – in sporting terms – a false start.

By the way, Isn’t it just like Sanlitun to be the midst of yet another heartwarming story?


Note: I’m now on Twitter. To track my account, go here and click the “Follow” button in the top left corner.

3 thoughts on “Um really? Update on SCMP story III”

  1. On the issue of blacks. Many ‘black’ countries are on a 22 country visa black list. Many black Africans can’t get visas till after the games. Many of the so called blacks were drug dealing on San Li Tun (and deserved to be gotton rid of). Many blacks were not having their visas extended. I am surprised that there are very many blacks left to serve?

  2. Dear Boyce, I have a friend who is involved with a business at the Tongli Studio area and he received a kind of “advice” from local police saying he must be aware of “undesirable movement” at his place, like drug selling or prostitution, which are, by coincidence (as you also said), linked with black people activity (the drugs) and mongolian (the prostitution) at the sanlitun area. And me, myself, heard from the same Liu Jianchao, during a press conference, that there is no censorship on cable TV in China (after being questioned why the government was censoring news TV channels after the Lhasa riots). So, if you ask me “who do you believe most: the SCMP or the chinese government?” I think you know the answer.

Comments are closed.