Owners of bars and restaurants in a part of Beijing have been told by police that they should not let more than 10 foreigners inside at a time. The bizarre rule has been issued by the cops with the threat that the restaurant could be shut down immediately of more than 10 foreigners are found inside on Fridays and Saturdays. The restriction is in place for the annual 'Two Sessions' meetings of Chinese government.
The 'Two Sessions' is an annual event where Chinese Communist Party members from across the vast country converge on Beijing to receive instructions and indications on the goals and priorities for the coming year. And this year, the sessions have been loaded. Among other things, President Xi Jinping has effectively cleared the way to stay in power indefinitely.
And these events have come hand in hand with paranoia that these tectonic shifts in China's politics might spark discontent. With the student protests of Tiananmen Square in mind, Beijing police have turned up in person to deliver verbal instructions to restaurants and bars in the Wudaokou area in northwest Beijing: No more than 10 foreigners inside your establishment at given time on Fridays or Saturdays, or we will shut you down.
Wudaokou is close to Tsinghua University and Peking University, from where the student protests of Tiananmen originated. The area also has a large number of foreigners, mostly students.
A number of restaurants in the area have now put up a sign that reads, "Until March 22nd, every Friday night and Saturday, as requested by local authorities, we can only allow a maximum of 10 foreigners in our store at a time. We appreciate your understanding during these challenging times."
Wudaokou, Beijing, 2018 until whenever Xi dies. pic.twitter.com/O5VNNipdRn
— Nathan Attrill (@nathanattrill) March 11, 2018
Police gave the restaurant owners no reason for the restriction. And, they have denied giving the instruction when contacted by media outlets, reported Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
Foreign students in the area who spoke to different news outlets anonymously ridiculed the regulation as racist, and questioned if the Chinese Communist Party thought they would be the ones to launch a revolution to remove it from power.
— Robert Foyle Hunwick (@MrRFH) March 13, 2018
The restriction will remain in place till two days after the end of the 'Two Sessions'.