Posted by Jeremy Goldkorn on Friday, September 14, 2007 at 5:53 PM
Beijing's Summer Palace is connected to two of the more sensitive spots in the history of Sino-foreign relations. In 1860, Anglo-French forces sacked and burned down the original Summer Palace (圆明园) during the Second Opium War. In 1900, whatever buildings survived were destroyed by what the Chinese call the Eight-Power Allied Forces (八国联军) who were in Beijing relieving the 'Siege of Peking' and putting down the Boxer Rebellion. At the same time, they also vandalized and destroyed parts of the new Summer Palace (颐和园). Both times, the looting was calculated to humiliate the Qing Dynasty court.
So foreigners misbehaving at those locations can touch some sensitive nerves.
The video below has been on Youku's front page for most of today. It's uses still photos, voice overs and subtitles to depict what seems to be two Western men sunbathing in the nude.
The comments to the post on Youku's page show a huge range of opinions. There are people who say "Ha, ha, Americans are funny" and "What's the big deal? A couple of foreigners take their clothes off, who cares?" And then there are those who say "Kick these useless %$@#$% sons of $%#$%% out of China now!"
File under "hurting the feelings of the Chinese people".
UPDATE: Billsdue wrote about the same photos of naked foreigners posted on BBS portal Qihoo three days ago: Ignorance, Racism Or Xenophobia?
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