Nazi saluting tourists the latest in embarrassing behaviour by Chinese visitors

The Reichstag

Police in the Berlin arrested two Chinese tourists Saturday morning for allegedly making Nazi salutes while posing for cellphone pictures in front of the the Reichstag building housing German parliament.

Modern Germany has banned the Nazi party and its imagery and symbols, which can now only be used for educational or historic research.

Hitler ruled Germany from 1933 until his death in 1945, and German criminal code outlawed the salute after World War II.

The men, ages 36 and 49, made the illegal salute in front of the Reichstag building, where the German parliament meets, Reuters reported. The pair were arrested but released after posting bail of $600.

The embassy suggested that tourists traveling overseas from China should take care to respect local laws and raised concerns that such controversies would harm the country's image. According to the AFP, the spokesman said the two tourists were free to leave Germany while the investigation was carried out, and that should a fine be levied, it would likely be covered by their bail money.

For several years now, the government in Beijing has expressed growing concern over embarrassing behavior by Chinese tourists traveling overseas, and has tried to persuade travelers to respect local laws and customs.

The volume of Chinese tourists has surged since China put the European Union on its list of approved countries, with many from the mainland taking advantage of direct flights to shop and enjoy sightseeing in the continent.

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