China Restaurant Owner Brings Down Racist Sign After Eliciting Online Uproar From Japanese, Filipino and Vietnamese People

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 28, 2013 5:39 PM EST

Probably seeing what he did could mean the death of his business, the Chinese owner who had earlier put up a sign on his restaurant window banning Japanese, Filipino and Vietnamese nationals has voluntarily put it down.

The sign, which read: "This shop does not receive The Japanese, The Philippines, The Vietnamese and dog," has been removed on Wednesday, but not after it sparked online uproar among three mentioned nationalities.

It was American tourist and blogger Rose Tang who saw the sign in one of her visits to Houhai city in Beijing. The racist sign however has been placed at the window since September 2012.

The sign was put up by the owner to express his "patriotic action," Global Times quoted one of the restaurant's waiters.

"I just didn't want to serve Japanese. Am I not allowed to do that?" the owner of the restaurant, only identified with a surname Lü, reportedly said. But he did not provide an explanation as to why he Vietnamese and Filipino people in his sign.

Although fellow Chinese understand people have the right to express their feelings over the border disputes, others remained skeptical as to how this could affect international relations.

"Although these countries all have had territorial disputes with China, people shouldn't be so extreme about this," Yinghuafenfei, a Web user, through her Sina microblog, posted.  

"Given that Beijing is an international city, I wonder how expats would look at us now after this," she wrote further. 

The photograph, which went viral on Wednesday, elicited angry remarks in Vietnamese-language forums as well as Philippine newspapers and websites.

"It's not patriotism, it's stupid extremism," Sy Van wrote in Vietnamese in a comment under a story published by Vietnam's state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper on its Web site.

"This is teaching hate to the younger generation," Andrea Wanderer, a Facebook user, wrote in Vietnamese. "The owner of the restaurant has obviously been brainwashed by their government," Chung Pham, another Facebook user, said.

Raul Hernandez, Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary, meanwhile said he hoped the sign was just a private sentiment exclusively by the owner.

"We think that the notice that was posted on that shop in Beijing is a private view about the whole situation that is happening between the Philippines and China," Hernandez told a press conference in Manila.

"We hope that it is not a state policy not to allow Filipinos to get to restaurants in Beijing," he added.

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