A Beijing restaurant that had posted a sign barring customers from Việt Nam, the Philippines, and Japan took the xenophobic piece down on Wednesday.
Global Times, a Chinese newspaper, reported Thursday in its English version that the notice was no longer seen on the window of the eatery yesterday.
The restaurant, Beijing Snacks, located in the Houhai Lake neighbourhood, a popular tourist spot to the north of the Forbidden City, had said in Chinese and English that:
“This shop does not receive the Japanese, the Philippines, the Vietnamese and dog” [sic].
The newspaper cited the restaurant owner as saying that he had put up the sign in September last year in response to Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.
The owner did not answer when being asked why Vietnamese and Filipinos had been included in that note, against the backdrop that China is also locked in spats with Việt Nam and the Philippines over the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in the Việt Nam’s East Sea.
Four pictures of the sign went viral on social media sites after Rose Tang, a former CNN reporter who was born and raised in mainland China but now lives in New York, posted them on her Facebook page during her stay in Beijing last week.
It was also published in Tuổi Trẻ newspaper on Wednesday, with comments from Tang who strongly protested this sign.
A huge number of people, including prominent Vietnamese figures, have unleashed a storm of furious reactions to the discriminatory notice since the release of the photos.
Only uncultured people would say those words, protested Trần Đình Hiển, a translator who has rendered many literary works by Chinese Nobel Laureate Mo Yan into Vietnamese.
“Is it that China fails to educate its young people?”
The piece was so rude and insulting, Trần Trung Hỷ, another translator of Yan’s works, complained to Tuổi Trẻ.
It will deepen the rift between China and the three nations, Hỷ said, adding that he “is disappointed and waiting for intervention by the Chinese government.”
A writer, Nguyễn Đình Tú, even called the restaurant owner an “uncultured, idiotic, and irrationally extreme” person.
“He has showed a decadent sense of politics created by a blind awareness of the neighbouring nations,”
Dương Danh Dy, a former Vietnamese Consul General in Guangzhou, grumbled that the owner has offended three nations at the same time and his action was in no way different from how “the foreign imperialist invaders had treated his ancestors in the past.”
China has a long history of being occupied by Western countries and Chinese people’s common belief persists that foreign colonialists once put the sign No dogs or Chinese allowed at the gate of a park in Shanghai between 1890 and 1928.