News of two Chinese tourists who were detained for performing Nazi salutes in Germany has caused quite a stir among Chinese netizens and spurred heated online discussions.
The two Chinese tourists, aged 36 and 49, reportedly made the banned salutes in front of the Reichstag parliament building and were detained by Berlin police over the weekend for breaking German laws.
They were fined 500 euros each and reportedly have been released by the police.
The two men have already been met with fierce criticism from their countrymen, many of whom expressed support for Germany's punishment of the two.
"This is the price they have to pay for being ignorant," said user "OKLibing" of twitter-like Weibo on Monday.
According to German law, using the symbols of anti-constitutional organizations can lead to a sentence of up to three years in jail or a fine.
Any hate speech or symbols linked to illegal organizations such as Nazis are regarded as a serious violation of German law.
"I have to support German law," wrote Weibo user "Goodman-Zhou."
OBEY THE LOCAL LAW
In addition to condemning the insensitive actions, netizens and government alike have called on Chinese tourists to learn the local laws and customs before going abroad.
"Do remember to bring your own dignity and that of your country when traveling abroad, and don't humiliate your parents and motherland," said a comment by Weibo user "Liuche."
Chinese citizens who are or will be visiting Germany should obey the local law and respect local culture to avoid similar incidents, suggested the Chinese embassy in Germany.
Chinese media including The People's Daily, CCTV News and China News Service all covered the incident and reiterated the importance of acting in accordance with the local law while traveling abroad.
"It is necessary to be familiar with local laws before traveling overseas, and do not breach the bottom line," said a comment by popular blogger "Shiciyuan" that has received nearly 1,000 "likes."
While praising the German attitude toward its history, some Chinese netizens also make a comparison to that of the Japanese government.
"Germany has the courage to admit its mistake and correct it. However, Japan always refuses to admit and even glorifies its crimes," wrote "Madaha358" on Netease, a Chinese portal website.
While Germany is wary of the revival of extremism, Japanese right-wing forces have showed no remorse for the country's history and often tried to whitewash the crimes committed during the WWII, said "Haominiao" on Sina.com, another major portal.
"Some Japanese officials even visit the Yasukuni shrine which houses class A war criminals, what a shame!" said one netizen named "Woniumianbao."
Another comment by "2466323822" on Sina asked the Japanese government to learn from Germany when facing historical issues.
"I think it is why Germany was forgiven after WWII, but Japan wasn't and is still blamed," said another Weibo user.