The public's bad habits should be corrected as part of preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games, says a signed article in the Oriental Morning News. An excerpt follows:
Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan said he was more worried that the opening ceremony might be hit by a storm.
"That (weather) is really beyond my control," he said. Wang is confident in the local people because Beijing has successfully organized large activities before and Beijingers have warmly welcomed guests.
Yet, this is not adequate for the success of the Olympics next summer.
With about 30,000 journalists, registered or not, swarming into the city to cover the games, they will certainly describe everything they see for their readers and audiences.
What they will report is going to include not only the hospitality of local people but also the details of the lives of the Chinese they meet. In other words, the whole world will be looking at the real Chinese.
In our daily life, several habits may taint this image, like spitting and leaving chewing gum in public places. It is definitely unpleasant to see the gum pollution in parks, on streets and in squares.
These details should not be ignored by the organizers or the government for they could destroy efforts so carefully made.
If the decision-makers could find a way to correct the public's bad habits in preparation for the games, the Beijing Olympics will be an even greater success.
(China Daily February 2, 2007)