China: Beard watching (There’s Gold in them thar facial whiskers!)

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Hugh Paxton’s Blog expects China to be confusing. And it never lets me down.

Beard spotting.

No I’m not drunk or using illicit substances.

Who needs mind warping chemicals when beard spotting is not just happening but officially sanctioned! Chinese authorities in Xinjiang region’s Shaya County,are concerned about violent Uighur Islamic militants. The police want to arrest them (or shoot them) and why not? A sensible strategy. But finding these people can be tricky. The Uighur minority are a slippery lot. They melt into the hills after a violent moment of riot or bombing or malcontent. But they have one potentially fatal flaw. The men grow beards. For cultural and religious purposes.

The Chinese law enforcement chaps thought this over and decided that the easiest way to quell unrest and fill the cells and keep the firing squads gainfully employed was to identify men with beards. A reward has been issued. Quite a good one.

If you are in this area and see someone with a beard contact the local police and you could walk away with a wallet bulging! If they grab a guy with a beard who isn’t a terrorist you won’t get much more than 50 Yuan. If he’s got a really nasty long tangled un-restive beard and has a bomb in his bag then you will receive more than 50,000 Yuan!

Eyes peeled, fellows!

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