NEWS
27/11/2017 16:31 SAST | Updated 27/11/2017 16:31 SAST

No More Squatting: Chinese President Urges People To Keep Public Toilets Clean

China's "toilet revolution". 🚽

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Black and white gents toilets.

Chinese president Xi Jinping has called for the country to keep pubic toilets clean in a bid to improve quality of life and boost tourism.

According to the president the toilet problem "is not a small thing" and cleaning up is necessary to create a "civilised" urban and rural environment, news agency Xinhua reported Monday.

The so-called "toilet revolution" was launched in 2015 as part of efforts to make restrooms -- often squat toilets with no paper -- more tourist-friendly.

China's infamous "squatty potties" arouse fear in some potential tourists, with several tourism blog posts dedicated to the subject.

Xinhua said since taking office in 2012, Jinping has made a point on rural tours to ask villagers whether they had flushable toilets or pits dug into the ground.

"In rural areas, some toilets were little more than makeshift shelters surrounded by bunches of corn stalks, and some were open pits next to pigsties," the agency explained.

The country expects to have added or upgraded more than 70,000 toilets by the end of this year.