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New diseases are sometimes a threat in China, particularly in its more densely populated parts. More recently, there have been cases of bird flu; avoid under-cooked poultry or eggs. Partly as a result of the SARS experience, China's government has taken the global threat of Swine Flu '''very seriously'''.
Guidelines and tips to avoid faux pas in China:
*'''Religion''': Swastikas have been used in Buddhist temples since the 5th century to represent Dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites. Similar to India, it does not represent Nazism. It is also worth noting that the local Jews have historically lived peacefully with their non-Jewish neighbours, and save for the Cultural Revolution, which persecuted people of all religions and not just the Jews. China does not have a significant history of anti-Semitism.
Homosexuality was de-criminalized in 1997 and taken off the state list of mental disorders in 2001. Chinese people have a range of opinions regarding sexuality. Though there are no laws against homosexuality in China, films, websites and television shows involving themes of homosexuality tend to be self-censored or banned.
Homosexual marriages and unions are not recognised in the country. Nevertheless, while openly displaying sexual orientation in public may draw stares and whispers, gay and lesbian visitors should generally not run into any major problems, and unprovoked violence against homosexual couples is almost unheard of.
The Chinese are generally hospitable and honourable to a fault. But, while visiting the country, bear the following in mind: