Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Tenants who spit could face eviction in China city

Media village in Guangzhou
Guangzhou, in southern China, hosts the Asian Games in 2010

A city in southern China is considering issuing a penalty system for anti-social behaviour which could lead to public-housing tenants being evicted.

The potential offences in government housing in Guangzhou include spitting in public, parking illegally or drying laundry on fences.

More serious offences include throwing rubbish out of upper floors or storing flammable or explosive material.

Anyone gathering 20 points within two years will be evicted.

'Harmonious community'

Spitting - which is common in public in China despite government campaigns to try to wipe it out - attracts a penalty of three points.

Spitting - three points
Urinating - three points
Illegal parking - three points
Drying laundry on fences - three points
Building greenhouse - three points
Dropping litter from upper storeys - seven points
Three months' rent unpaid - 20 points

Urinating in public is also worth a three-point penalty, dropping litter five points, and dropping items from upper storeys seven points.

Failing to pay rent for three consecutive months attracts a maximum 20 points - enough to trigger eviction. The Guangzhou Land and House Management Bureau says on its website it has "borrowed the ideas from the advanced experience of Hong Kong on public housing management".

It says the plan is to "build a civilised, hygienic, safe and harmonious community environment."

Feedback from the public is being sought before the plan is implemented.

Some Chinese people have already criticised the plan on internet forums, saying it represents "discrimination against the poor".

"What if a rich person did all these things?" asked one web user.

Guangzhou, the capital of the province of Guangdong, is one of China's more prosperous cities and hosts the Asia Games in November 2010.

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