CBC IN CHINA

Drop the selfie stick! What you can and can't bring to the G20 summit in China

Leave your fireworks at home. Food, drink and kindling materials are strictly forbidden. And don't bother bringing your heroin or cocaine. These are the warnings journalists and visitors see when they enter the G20 summit site in Hangzhou, China.

Musical instruments, small aircraft and animals all banned from leaders' meeting

Police officers secure an area in Hangzhou, China. Factories have been closed to ensure blue skies, potential troublemakers detained, and a quarter of the residents have left after being offered 'vacation vouchers,' all to make sure the city will look its best for the G20 summit. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)

Leave your fireworks at home.

Food, drink, and kindling materials are strictly forbidden.

And don't bother bringing your heroin, cocaine, mushrooms or methamphetamine.

These are the warnings journalists and visitors see when they enter the G20 summit site in Hangzhou, China.

Organizers made it no secret that security would be strict for the two-day gathering, which brings together the leaders of the world's largest economies.

This extensive list of restricted items is posted all around the G20 summit site in Hangzhou, China. (Katie Simpson/CBC)
The government offered local residents vacation vouchers, encouraging them to leave for the week, so as not get in the way of police. Signs are posted all around the summit site, listing what is banned from the summit zone.

At the top of the list, the obvious: No guns, ammunition or explosives.

This is not the Republican National Convention, remember.

Next: Crossbows, daggers and imitation guns are banned, along with fireworks and flammable items.

Remote control toys and small aircraft also make the list.

And of course, musical instruments or anything that will disturb the summit, including whistles, loud speakers, drums or radio interference equipment.

But the last item on the list stands out: "Sharp items that can cause physical injures, including but not limited, to selfie sticks."

The only injury my selfie stick has ever caused is a deep, painful sense of shame that develops when people see me use the selfie stick in public.

Causing a selfie stick stir

But hey, rules are rules.

Seriously though, I travel with a selfie stick.  When reporters are on the road and need to do live reports from the field, sometimes we use our iPhone on a selfie stick, and dial into our control rooms.

It doesn't look great, but if there is breaking news, it certainly works.

When the Canadian media delegation approached security for the B20 — the business gathering held the day before the G20 — on Saturday, the selfie stick in my equipment bag caused a bit of a stir.

Although signs are posted around Hangzhou, the Canadian delegation had travelled directly from the airport, so I wasn't aware, and I couldn't leave it at the hotel.

Otherwise, I would have followed the rules.

A look at the security setup at a hotel in Hangzhou, where CBC staff are staying during the G20 leaders' summit. (Katie Simpson/CBC)

But it was in my bag, authorities wanted to confiscate it, and we put up a bit of a fight.

When I showed resistance, the security officers decided they wanted to take a really close look at everything I was carrying.

A young security guard opened up my makeup bag, and then told me to test every product in there, to ensure it was safe. Every lipstick, every eye shadow, even my concealer.

By the time I was done, the back of my hand looked like a paintbrush pallet.

When officials with the Canadian delegation realized what was going on, they asked to speak with a manager, and eventually we made it through. 

Some of my colleagues had even more bizarre encounters.

One male reporter had a very, very personal security pat-down after going through a metal detector. Despite the enthusiasm from security, I assure you, my colleague was not happy to see him.

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