The young Chinese hotel room attendant enticed by sexually aggressive foreign guests or the dirty magazines they discard now has three guiding principles to follow.
Rule 1: Heed Mao Tse-tung's instructions to practice the self-discipline of the Communist liberation fighters.
Rule 2: Do nothing to embrass the motherland.
Rule 3: Immediately report the incident to hotel authorities.
The new manifesto for hotel employes, reported today in a Peking Daily article citing the case of a female foreigner who tried to seduce a male attendant cleaning her room, represents Peking's latest effort to protect the virtue of its people from the corrosive influence of Western lifestyle.
As Peking sheds its 30-year isolation and hosts a swelling community of foreign tourists, businessmen, journalists and students, the government undergoes periodic campaigns to contain the curiosity of the average Chinese about things Western.
Sometimes the campaign takes the form of a direct warning, such as the regulations for hotel employes or a new internal order, which, according to diplomats, instructs Chinese to avoid social contact with foreigners because they are too nosy about China.
At other times the government tries persuasion by publishing articles in the official press portraying Western, especially American, society as crime-ridden, racially prejudiced and run by exploitive industrialists and Mafia bosses.
Despite official efforts, however, many Chinese who have gained a keyhole view of the Occident since the government began relaxing controls on foreign movies and books scarcely hide their interest in all facets of Western life.
During the American film festival two weeks ago, dozens of young Chinese gathered outside Peking's Capital Theater to buy scalpers' tickets to the famous Western "Shane." The buyers waved money in their hands trying to attract ticket holders fortunate enough to get passes at their workplaces.
When one of the eager ticket seekers was asked why he wanted to see an old American movie, he replied in perfect English, "becuase it is an American movie,"
On a recent Sunday afternoon, several middle-aged Chinese and thier children rode their bicycles to a tree-enclosed corner of the Garden of Perfection and Light in north Peking and practiced the waltz as old ballroom music played over a tape recorder.
In China's big cities, brides and grooms rent long wedding gowns and tuxedos to pose for their wedding pictures even though they never wear such clothing outside the photographer's studio.
Although many Chinese seem fascinated by Western ways, few have regular access to foreigners outside the large, modern hotels in cities such as Shanghai, Peking and Canton. It is the elevator operators, the waitresses and the so-called room boys who clean the living quarters and provide small services at the hotels who have the steadiest contact with Westerners.
Daily exposure to the often damanding foreign tourists and permanent residents seems to dampen little of the curiosity of most hotel workers.
This enthusiasm is a bit bewildering for foreign tourists unaccustomed to such smiling service from attendants who refuse tips. It is forbidden to accept "bourgeois gratuities" in China, and many foreigners only accept the rule after numerous attemps to place money in palms. f
More seasoned businessmen and journalists who live or work in the hotels on a permanent basis try to cultivate friendships Chinese style. That is done by developing guanxi, the all-purpose Chinese word literally translated as "relations," but really meaning in essence, "If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."
Little gets accomplished in the highly bureaucratic Chinese society without what is known as "good guanxi," or knowing the right person to cut through red tape. You need it to get living space for your family, to get an appointment with a good doctor for an ailing child and to get good tickets for a Peking opera.
Guanxi is less important for the journalists and businessmen who dwell in Chinese hotels. In exchange for an occasional carton of Marlboros, a tape of a Taiwan love ballad or an American ballpoint pen, the room boys help eliminate the small nuisances of hotel life and look the other way when the resident commits a minor infraction such as inviting an out-of-town guest to spend the night in his room without extra charge.
One foreign journalist developed good guanxi with the room boys on his floor by passing around the latest copy of Playboy.
It was official concern about the lasting impact of such regular foreigner contacts in the Peking hotel that spurred today's article in the Peking Daily.
To illustrate its warning, the article said that while a male attendant was cleaning the room of a foreign woman, she closed the curtain and tried to seduce him. The young man escaped with his virtue intact and reported the incident to hotel officials, said the newspaper.
The worthy attendant, said the article, benefitted from the hotel's "anticorrosion education," which includes a study of Mao's teachings on self-control and practice of "the five no-no's." No chasing after bourgeois life style, no tips or gifts, no reading of "unhealthy books" or magazines containing pictures of naked peoples, no eating of food given by foreigners and no accepting of favors from foreigners.