Shanghai residents in war with drunken expats

Published:  18 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Citizenship, China
Local Chinese residents living in and around Shanghai’s nightlife hub of Yongkang Road declared war last week on noisy, drunken expats accused of disturbing the peace.

Shanghai is China’s most popular destination for expat workers, with over 150,000 living in the city at present. The frustrations of the local citizens of the former French Concession district boiled over last weekend when a crowd dumped water on around 200 foreigners living it up on the street.

Reputedly, the water attack wasn’t the first of its kind, as residents have been complaining about noise and drunken behaviour by the bars’ mostly expat clients for over a year. Following the incident, a local government spokesperson told the Global Times that attempts would be made to force the bars to close at 10 p.m.

According to a British expat, a similar incident took place outside a popular sushi restaurant last Friday. The street was packed with non-Chinese revellers making a great deal of noise, he said, and water was thrown from a first-floor window by infuriated residents.

The story, pics of the incident and its aftermath hit the social media shortly afterwards, causing mixed responses from Chinese netizens. Some claimed the incident was causing a loss of face for China, whilst others tweeted angrily about mocking and snobbish foreigners.

Micro-bloggers claimed the street was totally out of control, stating that children were unable to sleep and officials were doing nothing to help the community. Xu Yinhao, who filmed the incident, said the violence had been getting worse, with more hostile reactions on both sides.

He added that residents don’t want the bars to be closed, they just want the owners and their clients to keep order and show respect. Many older people as well as families are resident in the area, he said, and all have had enough of the noise.
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