"I suggest we work on our public courtesy," Yao told 'Beijing 2008', a publication released by the organizers of the 2008 Games.

 

"For example, westerners lower their voices in restaurants so as not to bother other people.

 

"Jumping ahead in queues is a definite no-no."

 

Yao, four-time NBA All Star with the Houston Rockets, is fast becoming a global sport icon and has been praised as a model athlete and cultural ambassador in China.

 

"Motorists should follow traffic rules, respect pedestrians and stop to let them pass first," Yao added, referring to China's notoriously dangerous drivers.

 

"Such courtesies are no small matter, they are the sign of an internationalised host nation with a great cultural tradition," he said.

 

The 2.29 metre tall centre also urged Chinese people not to crowd around competitors when they were in Beijing for the Olympics, but to allow "athletes a lot of personal space."