|Monday, September 15
Book will help police converse with English speakers
BEIJING -- Police will encounter thousands of people who don't speak a word of Chinese when Beijing swarms with foreigners during the 2008 Olympics.
A new guidebook of English phrases counsels the officers on such mundane lessons as giving tourists directions to a sterner order of "Shut up, so we can finish our search."
The 252-page "Olympic Security English" textbook highlights the unique worries of China's tightly controlled communist system, including how to deal with issues such as the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, human rights and the restive Muslim region of Xinjiang in the country's far west.
The cobalt-blue guide is filled with unsavory topics such as dealing with foreigners involved in brawls, shoplifting, drug peddling and illegal arms possession.
"This book, which puts the Olympic Games at the core, has a fruitful content," says the editor's note. "It mainly focuses on the handling of every possible problem -- via legal means -- that may happen during security work for the games."
It adds: "It's easy to learn, remember and look up."
Still, the lessons can be demanding, with a vocabulary of 2,500 words and 100 phrases needed by police -- such as "blow into the intoxilyzer" and "obstructing the discharge of official duty."
The manual is part of a multibillion-dollar facelift for Beijing launched after China was picked to host the Summer Olympics.
Beijing is building 16 new stadiums and arenas, and hundreds of miles of expressways and subway lines. It also is promising to cut pollution and stamp out littering, spitting and the raising of livestock in urban areas. Taxi drivers are being given crash courses in English.
In the police textbook's first chapter, an officer confronts a foreign reporter in an exercise titled "How to Stop Illegal News Coverage."
The journalist says he is gathering information about Falun Gong and is detained -- an event that might come as a surprise to reporters sent to cover the Olympics but routine for correspondents who live in China.
The policeman says Falun Gong "is beyond your coverage and illegal. As a foreign reporter in China, you should obey China law and do nothing against your status." The reporter is taken away to "clear up this matter."
In another lesson, a British woman from Hong Kong is detained on suspicion of auto theft. She insists: "You're violating my human rights. I protest!"
The policeman responds: "No tricks! Don't move!"
In a lesson titled "Searching for Bombs," a fictitious chef from India has been implicated by a tipster as a possible terrorist.
Police: "Someone reported you had a bomb here. We're here to search your room."
Foreigner: "Nonsense. I'm working as a cook. Why would I keep a bomb? Go ahead and search. ... I'm an honest man. I can only make Indian pancake. I've never seen a bomb."
Police: "Shut up, so we can finish our search."
Dealing with loutish behavior by an inebriated tourist is described in the lesson called, "Dissuading Foreigners from Excessive Drinking."
"I want a girl to drink with me!" the man declares after a security guard tells him he's had enough.
The guard warns him to stop or he'll call the police. "Mind your manners!" the guard chides.
The tourist demurs.
"I won't drink anymore," he says. "I'm sorry."