Two Chinese tourists were arrested and fined in Berlin for making Nazi salutes outside the German parliament on Saturday, triggering heated discussions on Chinese social media about Chinese tourists' behavior.
The two tourists, aged 36 and 49, could face a fine or a prison sentence of up to three years, BBC News reported, citing a Berlin police officer, adding that the pair have each been released on ?500 ($600) bail.
The incident has triggered heated discussions on Chinese social media, with most netizens accusing some Chinese tourists of having bad manners in foreign countries.
A Chinese tourist surnamed Yu who has visited Berlin told the Global Times that the incident reflects the lack of respect some Chinese have for other countries' history and culture.
Meanwhile, some Weibo users said that one should study a country's taboos he or she plans to visit to avoid offending other cultures.
"The two men may think that their behavior is a joke. However, it has generated a negative impression," Zhang Shengjun, an international politics professor at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times on Monday.
"People tend to look at all things from an entertainment perspective, which makes most citizens lose respect for history and culture. The government should create rules and laws to regulate Chinese tourists' behavior not only in the country but also overseas," Zhang said.
The pair took cell phone photos of each other making the Nazi salute outside the Reichstag, which were seen by police officers assigned to guard the numerous historic sites in the area, the BBC News reported.
Germany has strict laws on hate speech and symbols linked to Hitler and the Nazis. The same charges are most commonly used to prosecute members of the far right, according to the BBC report.
Around 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited Germany in 2015, news site cnr.cn reported. Tourist organizations said they expect 2.2 million Chinese to visit Germany in 2020, the New York Times reported on Sunday.