Shenzhen Shekou police posted a bulletin in English last Thursday warning about a potential crackdown on unregistered foreigners. The announcement was written in a very serious tone but used Chinglish, which made it seem a lot less scary than it was supposed to be.
Shekou, a popular expat area in Shenzhen, has been having issues with unregistered foreigners. There have been a few accidental deaths in the area this year, and police were unable to identity the foreign victims because they had not been registered.
Police posted the bulletin in order to warn foreigners living in the area to register before June 17.
The announcement read: “All foreigners: no matter who are you no matter where are you come from, you are in china now, so,obey our law do the register in the local police station (shekou police station)or you will be fine up to 2000rmb.we will give you one week to do the register.One week later we will have a big operation against those foreigner who have not register in police station.Thank you.”
Government announcements in English in China are relatively rare. The bulletin users a tough, non-diplomatic tone with phrases like “obey our law.” Netizens have mocked the announcement, and it was even translated back into Chinese in form of a classic edict.
Netizens have also made fun of the Chinglish used in the announcement, like the awkward phrase, “have a big operation against.” Police staff said that the bulletin was put out on short notice and that it was the first notice in English ever put out by the station.
Shenzhen police said that the bulletin has been successful, and a lot of foreigners have come to register after the notice was put up in the community.
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Keywords: Shenzhen foreigners Shenzhen registration Shenzhen Police
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The most important thing in China is the law. I have never been in a country where everyone takes the law so seriously. Seeing as the population of China has done such a good job of showing us barbarians, what a society based on the rule of law looks like. It should be easy for us to learn and follow the examples of orderly law abiding local citizens.
Jun 23, 2016 16:38 Report Abuse
You know Shenzhen has some of the best ESL educators in Mainland China. Would it have hurt too much to hire someone to translate that gibberish for 300 Yuan? Especially since the operation will probably cost XYXYXYXYXYXYXY and do absolutely nothing... except punish one poor guy from East Ukraine trying to eat a second rate sandwhich.
Jun 12, 2016 22:17 Report Abuse
Exactly. One foreigner not obeying the law in China is like a country's worth of Chinese not obeying the law abroad. I suppose this is why Thailand has "Chinese Only" toilets in their famous sites now and why last week Japan tried to smooth over the behavior of some Chinese going into a forbidden area in one of their flower parks and ruining flowers just to get some photos by saying things like "Well, you know the Chinese, they just want to take the best possible photos. Perhaps we will open a new "Chinese Only" section of the park so they can do whatever they want, as usual". Not to want to cast stones at others but when you point a finger in my direction, I will point two hands worth of fingers back at you. they really should look from within before they try to blame the world for their own problems.
Jun 08, 2016 09:49 Report Abuse
I don't see how this is news and why people are reacting in the way they are. Locals need to register at their local police stations too. They have ID cards to do that. Putting up signs in areas where foreigners will be is also fine. Foreigners might not be aware of these laws and it would be unfair to fine somebody for something they didn't know about. They even gave everyone a week to see the notice.
Jun 07, 2016 22:59 Report Abuse
Wow! This notice once again put to question what foreigners from " western countries" have been doing in this country as job! with eggs exploding in everyone's face in this conspicuous way, I don't know on which leg those of us foreigners from western countries should dance on!
Jun 07, 2016 22:39 Report Abuse
The last time I moved I went to register at the local station and the cops had no idea what to do, I had to explain that I was supposed to register with them, they didn't seem to know. It took hours and I was sent to another part of town to get the forms for them. No wonder people don't bother.
Jun 07, 2016 15:32 Report Abuse
The only reason this 'story' and many others are on the site is to try and provoke comments. Any reasonable person knows that they should obey the local laws no matter where they are. The English is not perfect? - So what,at least it is understandable, and even a courtesy. They could have put up the notice in Chinese, then enforce it on everyone. For your own safety you should keep some contact information on you whenever you go out.
Jun 07, 2016 13:51 Report Abuse
Chinglish, English, or Chinese, this is not amusing. Imagine this happening in Chinatowns in USA, Australia, U.K., and Canada...... it wouldn't. The fact that laws need to be obeyed is redundant to be mentioned via such means. If a shoplifter goes to a convenience store in another country, should the police post a notice to remind them that "Shoplifting is against our laws. Please cease your efforts because we will be conducting an operation to punish violators."? If you are a guest in someone's home, shouldn't we expect to feel welcomed? Yes rules are rules but there is a better way than to threaten your guests with major operations and fines.
Jun 07, 2016 10:57 Report Abuse
Your example is not relevant. Shoplifting is illegal in every country. Whereas there are plenty of countries where you are not required to register yourself. I think it is absolutely fine to make people aware of such laws. Also China towns are not inhabited by foreign nationals. Those "Chinese" that live there are nationals of that country. You will however see such things in hotels and airports. For example if you go to Bangkok you will see signs up everywhere written in Chinese reminding them that littering and spitting is illegal.
Jun 07, 2016 23:10 Report Abuse
Yeah maybe it did wash over me, English is not my first language. But either way it's only your example that's sarcastic your argument is still the same. Which means my point is still valid there are many countries where you are not required to register and therefore being made aware of those laws is completely acceptable.
Jun 08, 2016 10:35 Report Abuse
The point is that the tone of the notice isn't appropriate. What need is there to say "no matter who you are or where you come from, you are in China so obey our laws"? This isn't serious, and makes foreigners feel liek they are being accused of doing something wrong. Why couldn't they just say "we would like to remind you that you have to register within a week or you will be fined"?
Jun 08, 2016 14:10 Report Abuse