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How Should Westerners avoid trouble when in China

How Should Westerners avoid trouble when in China

Old Dec 25, 18, 8:02 am
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How Should Westerners avoid trouble when in China

The four of us (myself, my wife, my sister-in-law, and 22 yr old daughter) will be going to China next week. Staying between Beijing and Shanghai for one week. We will not be going as a group We will be at the Fairmont.

The question is that we are Westerners (ie from Canada). How do Westerners avoid trouble with Chinese security/police when travelling/sightseeing in China?
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Old Dec 25, 18, 8:27 am
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Xinjiang and Tibet are a different matter, but elsewhere just behave in the same civil manner you'd behave visiting Paris. China is a police state in many respects, but it's not a police state in the East German sense: it doesn't feel oppressive (at least not until you look up and notice the security cameras everywhere).

So instead of worrying about your behaviour, worry about traffic, bikes heading at you while you're walking about especially. That's the trouble you should worry about. Constantly.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 8:41 am
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Same rules as in every country. Not taking pictures from policemen/security (or actually photos taken where a person is clearly in the centre without their consent), or from any official builidings (police stations and the like) - usually there is a warning as well, not to take pictures.

ALWAYS have your passport with you, since by law police can check your identity (doesn't happen often, and if you don't have it with you, they'll simply ask you to get it at the place you store it - hotel most likely - but it's just easier if you've it with you) - Beijing and (especially) Shanghai are flooded with (western) tourists anyway. You'll not feel like you're in a Chinese city in some areas of Shanghai..

I suppose you're asking in connection with the behavior of the Canadian gouvernment towards the CFO of Huawei, which is nothing short of disgusting and should have severe consequences for Canada - but I can assure you that as a normal tourist, you've nothing to worry about.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 2:52 pm
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I've been there many times, behave yourself reasonably and there's no issue. It's nothing like it was like behind the Iron Curtain. We've been there upwards of 20 times by now, we have to show passports for trains, hotels and to register our stay (most of the time we are with relatives rather than in a hotel which means we have to register with the police. Normally the hotel takes care of this for you.)

In all that travel we have had two quasi-encounters with the police--in both cases we were passengers in cars stopped for non-driving issues. (The first time the driver looked Japanese and I'm obviously not Chinese--and you pretty much can't drive on a foreign license over there. The second time the car was actually lacking a required permit, the driver got a ticket for that.) Neither time did they care one bit about me. (My wife is China-born, they wouldn't realize she isn't a local.)
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Old Dec 25, 18, 7:55 pm
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Chinese police are much better than the ones in the States (or Canada). You won't be in danger of getting shot or your butt kicked by a thug on a power trip in China. Behave normally and you'll be fine. Generally police in China like to avoid doing as much work as possible so you'll likely never have any contact with them.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 8:54 pm
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scrap the MAGA hat
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Old Dec 26, 18, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by Lomapaseo View Post
scrap the MAGA hat


Workers make flags for President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign at the Jiahao flag factory in Fuyang, Anhui province, China, on Wednesday. According to a Reuters report Wednesday, China’s Jiahao Flag Co. has produced more than 90,000 “Trump 2020: Keep America Great!” banners and flags since March, and the factory has ramped up production before Trump’s threatened tariffs a https://www.marketwatch.com/story/tr...ina-2018-07-25
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Old Dec 27, 18, 5:40 am
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The biggest danger you'll have in China is trying to cross the road. Do not assume that just because the pedestrian light is green that the traffic will stop for you. Beware of cars, especially taxis, turning right across you and scooters just ignore traffic lights altogether.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 9:58 am
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Beware the electric scooter! Freaked my husband right out ;-) [he spent an hour or two in our hotel window in Shanghai - at a largeish corner intersection - just watching & trying to understand the traffic patterns when I was working one day ;-)]
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Old Dec 27, 18, 1:10 pm
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The special problem with the electric bikes is that they're almost silent and move very quickly. It shouldn't be that way, but walking in China these days you have to be very careful not to make any sudden movements sideways. Or you could get ploughed down. Just walk dead and predictably straight ahead.

So easy to solve the problem with a few speed bumps on pedestrian walks, but I've never once seen them. Ironically, it's the upgrading of urban infrastructure with smooth and well-maintained walkways that's created the problem: they're just too attractive for bikes.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
The special problem with the electric bikes is that they're almost silent and move very quickly.
And they never turn their lights on at night. Even when driving at night it's those mopeds that stress me out, not the other cars.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
The special problem with the electric bikes is that they're almost silent and move very quickly.
Yep, that is exactly what I meant!
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Old Dec 27, 18, 11:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Ardecos View Post
The biggest danger you'll have in China is trying to cross the road. Do not assume that just because the pedestrian light is green that the traffic will stop for you. Beware of cars, especially taxis, turning right across you and scooters just ignore traffic lights altogether.
Second this. I was almost creamed by a bus in Shanghai. I had the green which I perfectly well knew means little. However, the only lane open was the left turn lane and the intersection was blocked, a left turn couldn't get very far at all. Oops, the bus was turning right from the left turn lane at a speed I would not have been comfortable turning in a car.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 11:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Ardecos View Post
The biggest danger you'll have in China is trying to cross the road. Do not assume that just because the pedestrian light is green that the traffic will stop for you. Beware of cars, especially taxis, turning right across you and scooters just ignore traffic lights altogether.
That's actually changing. Hangzhou being the first to give pedestrians right of way.

Last edited by s0ssos; Dec 28, 18 at 1:09 am
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Old Dec 27, 18, 11:51 pm
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Refrain from getting into altercations with Russians, migrant workers, and 东北人.
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