Those spitting in the streets of Beijing will be fined up to 50 yuan (about US$6.5) in an effort to improve citizens' behavior ahead of the Olympics, an official said Wednesday.
After deciding that the 11th day of each month was ‘Queuing Day’ when people should line up in an orderly manner, just like the two digits in 11, Beijing has adopted a different approach to control unpleasant street behavior.
"Fifty yuan is a fairly hefty warning to those spitting," said Zhang Huiguang, director of the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau.
That figure in the capital city is the daily income of a Chinese college graduate and can buy 16 subway tickets or 100 packs of paper hankies.
Beijing is attempting to stop spitting, littering and the milling crowds around bus stops and subway stations as the Olympics approach.
The city has sought to enlist the media and famous people in its efforts to create a more mannerly Olympic city and they’ve devised punishment and reward schemes and slogans for city districts.
"We want to raise citizens' awareness of civilized behavior and not just fine them," Zhang said.
(Xinhua News Agency February 8, 2007)