It is difficult to cross the street in China for those who are first in China. Some of my foreign friends found it a culture shock upon arrival to Beijing. People in China may cross the street anywhere they want, not necessarily on the zebra cross. But even they are crossing the street on the zebra cross, they are not necessarily cross the street when the green light is on, and it get worse... even you will cross the street on the zebra cross when the green light is on, the vehicles turning right may not necessarily stop to let you cross first, they may even speed up when they see people crossing, hoping to cross before you do.
Bad example, Don't learn from them! You are not trained for that yet.
1. Do cross the street on the zebra cross when the green light is on, because the drivers will slow down at this point.
2. Watch the locals and learn from them, most of the Chinese people have been doing this for a lifetime and have experience for you to learn. I would recommend you spend 10 minutes to watch and think, it is fun and worthy to do it.
3. Try to join the flow of the people, when there is no traffic light, more pedestrians will more likely to win the war.
4. Get rid of traffic rules that rooted in your mindset, do not expect the cars will stop for you even though they do when they realize that they can't win the play chick war.
5. Keep your eyes wide open! Watch left to make sure the drivers are driving to you have spotted you and start walking slowly but surely, look straight at the drivers eyes. Pause for a while when you are in the middle of the street, start watching right and do the same thing.
6. Hanging closely with your tour guide.
At last, I don't want you to be scared, I lot of western travelers believed that accidents must be extremely common in China, but actually, there are not many accidents involving pedestrians because all the drivers are prepared at all times that there might be someone on the street, and play-chicken as they are, the drivers' feet are also on the break all the times. They chaos of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on China roads works okay, is because Chinese people believe that it does.
Join the crowds:
Don't speed up in a sudden or going backward when you are going to lose the “Play chicken" game, because you don't know what behind you.
Joining the crowd is key, as Chairman Mao said:"More people, more power" (人多力量大）。
The Chinese are hoping to Change the "China Style crossing street"