BEIJING: Shark fin delicacies may be off the menu in Beijing before 2008 Olympics if the local government concurs with a proposal made by a lawmaker, so as to curry favour with visiting foreigners who may feel offended.
According to the state media, the issue of banning shark fin delicacies was submitted by Xu Zhihong, a deputy to the National People’s Congress and president of the prestigious Peking University. He felt that shark’s fin soup, bear’s paw and swallow’s nest considered delicacies and typically served at elaborate banquets had the potential of upsetting foreign guests.
“Serving shark fin to foreign guests during the Olympic Games could greatly hurt China’s image, and officials should start removing the dish from the dining tables right now,” he said.
He added that restaurants should also keep away from other wildlife like snakes during the Games which will commence on August 8, 2008.
“It is not only an environmental issue, but one that has a direct bearing on the image of Chinese people,” Xu was quoted as saying by ‘China Daily´.
Figures show that shark fin imports have been soaring in China in recent years despite efforts by Chinese NBA star Yao Ming and gymnastics legend Li Ning last year to convince people to stop eating the dish.