Chinese tourists assault pub employee in Jeju

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Chinese tourists assault pub employee in Jeju

Jeju police arrested three Chinese tourists on charges of assaulting a pub employee on Thursday. The three Chinese tourists visited a local pub in Yeon-dong on Tuesday and refused to leave at around 4 a.m., the pub’s regular closing hour.

The pub owner, surnamed Song, said the Chinese tourists were drunk from around 1:30 a.m. and seemed they weren’t likely to leave.

Song reportedly said, “One of our employees asked them to leave four times, from 3:50 a.m., or 10 minutes before the closing hour, but they didn’t comply.”

The three kept asking for more drinks past 4 a.m. When the employee said, “You can’t order more drinks,” one of the Chinese tourists allegedly started swearing at the employee, saying, “Are you looking down on me because I’m Chinese?”

Another employee came by to explain the situation and was threatened by the three. While quarrelling over the closing hour, one Chinese tourist reportedly stood up and started hitting the employee. At this point, all of them forced the employee into a corner and attacked. The tourists continued yelling even after police arrived at the scene.

Police arrested the three tourists, while one of them, who insisted he suffered an injury, was taken to a nearby hospital before investigation. Police will further question the three.

A series of recent violent crimes by Chinese tourists has alarmed Jeju residents. According to the Jeju Provincial Police Agency, 558 foreigners committed crimes on Jeju from January to October, and 71.3 percent of these were committed by Chinese.

In September, eight Chinese tourists assaulted a restaurateur, who as a result suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. Only a week after the incident, a 61-year-old woman was stabbed to death by a Chinese tourist while praying at a cathedral on the island.

Currently, citizens of 189 countries can enter Jeju Island without a visa and stay up to 30 days.

As the number of crimes committed by Chinese tourists increases, however, public criticism against the free-visa policy for Chinese tourists coming to Jeju Island has been mounting.

Chinese visitors without a visa can be refused entry if they cannot provide a valid passport, travel itinerary or evidence of accommodation reservations.

Last month, over 100 Chinese tourists were refused entrance to Jeju and were detained at Jeju International Airport before returning to China, as some of them failed to follow South Korean law and immigration regulations.

BY CHOI CHOONG-IL AND KIM YUNA [kim.yuna1@joongang.co.kr]

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