Why Jeju Islanders don’t want Chinese to be allowed to drive?

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A while ago we noticed an article in the Korean press which suggested people in Jeju-do were unhappy about Chinese being allowed to drive rental cars on the island when on vacation. I wondered what it was that concerned them.

Then, the other day, I came across this article in H’s Week in China publication, talking about Chinese spending and other habits abroad, and local backlashes. (So Long Hong Kong, Week in China, 27 February 2015)

It’s dangerous to draw generalisations from one or two incidents, but the incidents reported below are in themselves pretty appalling:

This week, a local court [in Queenstown, New Zealand] charged tourists from China with traffic violations that endangered safety. First, there was a 29 year-old from Chongqing who was charged with repeatedly steering his car into oncoming traffic and trying to overtake on blind corners. He also clocked up a top speed of 134km per hour as well as failing to pull over when police flashed their lights at him. According to the Teranaki Daily News, the man said he thought he could overtake whenever he liked (that would seem to be the practice in many Chinese cities) and claimed not to know that flashing police lights meant he should stop.

Another Chinese driver sojourning in Queenstown was even more dangerous. She crashed head-on into another car. The two passengers in the wrecked vehicle were so seriously injured they had to be airlifted to hospital. Among its punishments, the court ordered the guilty motorist – a Chinese government official – never to drive in New Zealand again.

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