Shenyang anti-spitting campaign, take two

The city of Shenyang is getting tough (or tougher) on spitting and other such unhygienic habits. The Shenyang Evening News front page reports today that 200 specialist hygiene supervisors have been appointed, and they will be able to dish out fines of 20 yuan for each person spitting in public, among other such offences and their corresponding fines.

On 8 October 2010, however, an almost identical headline appeared on exactly the same spot on the front page of the selfsame newspaper, announcing that spitting will now incur a fine of 10 yuan, and 100 specialist hygiene supervisors have been appointed to monitor unhygienic behavior and dish out fines for spitting, among other offences.

So we’ll say good luck this time Shenyang, or see you next year for the 3o yuan fine/300 supervisors upgrade.

The main headline on the front page of the Shenyang Evening News from Liaoning province today states boldly that “Spitting anywhere in Shenyang will now incur a fine of 20 yuan”. The article explains that authorities have launched a new set of standards for health and hygiene in the city, one of which is the spitting fine, and 200 Hygiene Supervisors have been appointed to enforce the new standards. The 200 supervisors, who even had to pass an exam, will have the authority to impose fines on people for a number of offences. A whole system has been put in place detailing various kinds of offences and penalties; the type and size of the objects you litter, for example, will determine how much you will be fined. The following are some of these offences and the minimum fines that will be incurred:

  • Littering (minimum 500 yuan fine)
  • Spitting in public places (20 yuan fine)
  • Polluting the sidewalk with car wash wastewater (minimum 300 yuan fine)
  • Using the street as a toilet (便溺) (up to 50 yuan fine), and
  • Discarding sewage water (minimum 100 yuan fine)
Bad memories:  10 yuan and 100 monitors clearly just wasn’t nearly enough

Isn’t that just great? Yet sadly, this is not Shenyang’s first attempt at improving hygiene. Although today’s front page story looks like a brand new effort, the front page of the Shenyang Evening News of 8 October 2010 had an almost identical headline in exactly the same place on the front page. It read: “From today spitting anywhere in Shenyang will incur a maximum fine of 10 yuan”.

So in less than two and a half years, the price of spitting in Shenyang doubled! The spitting regulations of 2010 were part of a government campaign in the city called “Clean Shenyang” (清洁沈阳) that was aimed at addressing ten main causes of pollution. As the article from the 2010 newspaper outlines, “The city Patriotic Health Committee has organized 100 specialist supervisors to monitor [littering and spitting and other unhygienic behavior] at ten focal points in the city.”


So perhaps now in 2013, with a 20 yuan fine instead of 10 yuan, and with 200 hygiene supervisors instead of 100, Shenyang can exorcise the scourge of spitting? One can only assume that the first attempt was less than successful, so all the best for take two, Shenyang.

Will 20 yuan and 200 supervisors be enough?

Links and sources
Shenyang Evening News (沈阳晚报), 2013: 随地吐痰乱丢杂物将罚款20元
Shenyang Evening News (沈阳晚报), 2010: 今起,随地吐痰最高将罚10元

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