A Beijing restaurant owner was forced to remove a racist sign that barred citizens from Vietnam, Philippines and Japan – along with dogs – from entering after triggering international online fury.
The popular restaurant that serves Beijing specialties like soup with pork offal and located near the Forbidden City, a popular tourist spot, put up the sign on its door few days ago.
It said: “This restaurant does not receive the Japanese, the Philippines, the Vietnamese and dog(s).”
It was written both in Chinese and English.
China is currently embroiled in bitter disputes over the ownership of islands with all three countries in South China and East China seas.
Reports from Vietnam and Philippines said image of the sign went viral online after it was put up on Facebook post.
Agency reports said the restaurant sign provoked an outcry in Vietnam and the Philippines, generating thousands of posts on Vietnamese social networking sites and newspaper comment threads.
“Filipinos greeted the photo with a mixture of fury and amusement."Blatant racism at Beijing Restaurant," journalist Veronica Pedrosa wrote in one widely-shared tweet,” news agency AFP reported from Manila.
Many commented on popular Chinese microblogs as well, condemning the sign and the owner’s ignorance; many called him “ultra nationalist.”
“I feel pity for the owner. The sign reveals his ignorance and narrow mind,” said a post on Sina Weibo, a popular microblog in China.
According to Sina Weibo, Wang, the owner of the restaurant, claimed that he posted the sign to show his patriotism.
“I don’t care others’ opinions. And I even don’t care about serving foreign diners. Besides, many customers agree with me on this issue,” Wang said.
Wang, however, had to remove the sign late on Thursday, saying he took it down because “it was a lot of bother.”
“I don't have any regrets,” he told AFP.
“I was just getting too many phone calls about it.”
“Maybe people misunderstood our meaning... it only said we would not serve customers from those countries,” he said.