What Is Illegal In China

Most people have a good sense of right and wrong, and many laws and regulations are based on common sense. However, there are also blatantly contradictory statutes, such as Oklahoma's (landlocked) ban on whaling and Alabama's restriction on using elephants to plow cotton fields. As a result of this, we began to speculate that China must have its share of bizarre laws and policies. We discovered some great ones, and here they are:

Never stop at a crosswalk when pedestrians are present.

Assuming this is correct, many things become clear. Cars never appear to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, and we didn't understand why they weren't until we found out about this regulation. According to Article 40 of Beijing's traffic rules, drivers of motorized vehicles are barred from stopping at pedestrian crossings and are subject to an RMB 5 fine or a warning if they do so. Great.

Do not keep ammunition or fireworks in the cellar.

According to Chinese legislation, it is illegal for a private citizen to keep more than one tonne of explosives (such as fireworks) in their home's basement or cellar. This makes a lot of sense until you remember that a lot of people must have been keeping more than a ton of explosives in their basements for this rule to even exist. There are a lot of fireworks there. The good news is that he doesn't bury his improvised cannons.

Man should not knowingly consume another man's wife.

An old rule says that it's bad form for a guy to knowingly include another man's wife in his supper. So, if she's not part of a meal, does it imply he may eat her? Does it become OK if he accidentally eats it?

Don't go out with someone at work

Some employees of a Guangdong-based internet firm recently disclosed the company's bizarrely detailed dating policy online. Male employees with less than a year of service are not allowed to date other employees. Women who have been in their jobs for less than three months are subject to the same policy, and if they meet a lover outside of the workplace, he must undergo a "suitability review" by upper management. Male employees under the age of 25 are strictly forbidden from dating inside the workplace; however, those earning more than 15,000 RMB per month are excluded from this policy. Whoever thinks of these things should be shot.

Keep your vices at home

When it comes to making up new laws, county authorities seem to take a lot of liberties. Workers in state-owned firms in a single county in Hubei province were mandated to purchase a total of 23,000 packs of cigarettes each year, and were restricted to purchasing only locally produced cigarettes. Baijiu was used in a similar con by yet another Hubei county. Each worker would have to purchase three bottles each day in order to meet the daily quota. Thankfully, the federal government discovered out and nullified the regulations.

The silk-making process is a closely guarded secret

Someone who is discovered divulging information about sericulture (the art of manufacturing silk) was subject to torture and execution under ancient imperial law. Given that knowledge of silk production has spread outside China, we can only assume that whomever leaked this information was subjected to severe punishment.

Do not give your children unusual names

Forbidden by law, a dad in Zhengzhou could not give his newborn baby the name "@" since it could not be translated into Mandarin. I mean, he might have requested they change the translation to...

The feet of thy daughter shall not be bound

Again, it's good to have a legislation passed, but it's unfortunate that this one was required. Feet binding was common practice for young girls in China before to the establishment of the People's Republic. This legislation is unquestionably beneficial since it prevented years of suffering and disfigurement.

Salute moving vehicles as they go by

Schoolchildren on their way to and from Luolang Elementary in Guizhou Province are obliged by law to stop and raise their hands as vehicles pass. It's strange, yet the regulation has eliminated kid fatalities from traffic accidents.

Warning of a Russian invasion must be issued

This one's from 1907, sure, but it's still a timeless classic. A little-known Chinese republic existed not far from present-day Vladivostok. Its name was Iman, and among its strict regulations was the penalty of death for failing to warn of the approach of a Russian. The penalty for stealing fur was execution by live burial. Ouch.

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