Planet China

Stubble trouble

An old British axiom has it that you should ‘never trust a man with a beard’. Well, Henan province’s Department of Justice seems to agree. Its Bar Association has just released guidelines for how lawyers should appear in court. One of its provisions is that no beards are allowed, reports the Henan Business Daily. A columnist from Zhejiang Online says this reminds him of Sun Yat-sen’s famous order of 1912 that stipulated officials should chop off their ‘queue’ – the long ponytail sported throughout the Qing Dynasty. The columnist can see the symbolism of Sun’s order, which signalled China’s move from feudal to republican status. Henan’s aversion to beards, on the other hand, seems pointless. He even calculates that by not shaving each day, a man can save 2,000 hours over the course of his life.


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