BEIJING/HANOI – A defiant Beijing restaurateur refused to apologize Thursday despite removing a racist sign barring citizens of states in maritime disputes with China, along with dogs, following an international outcry.
The notice in the window of the Beijing Snacks restaurant, near the Forbidden City, had read: “This shop does not receive the Japanese, the Philippines, the Vietnamese and dog(s)” in both Chinese and English. But after taking it down due to accusations of racism, the manager, surnamed Wang, said he had no regrets and refused to apologize for any offense caused.
Images of the sign went viral in Vietnam and were splashed across newspapers in the Philippines on Wednesday. Both are involved in bitter territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.
The sign’s wording was particularly inflammatory as it recalled China’s colonial era, when British-owned establishments barred Chinese from entering. .
The notice provoked an outcry in Vietnam and the Philippines, generating thousands of posts on social networking sites and newspaper comment threads. Vietnam’s state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper ran a story saying it was another example of Chinese “extreme nationalism that deserves to be condemned,” while a Vietnamese Facebook user wrote: “The owner of the restaurant has obviously been brainwashed by their government.”
But Filipinos greeted the photo with a mixture of fury and amusement. “Blatant racism at Beijing Restaurant,” journalist Veronica Pedrosa tweeted, while Facebook user Rey Garcia said: “Who cares, they cook everything, even fetus and fingernails.”