Chopsticks are the eating utensil of choice in many restaurants in China, and there are some rules of etiquette relating to how they should be used. For example, the chopsticks should be used for eating, not for pointing or for banging on the table or the side of a plate or bowl. In many ways, the rules that apply to chopsticks are similar to the rules of silverware etiquette at dinner tables in the United States. However, Chinese culture does have some unique rules relating to what is and is not considered taboo when it comes to chopstick use.
For example, sticking chopsticks directly into a bowl or plate of rice or other food can be considered taboo, especially if the chopsticks are oriented vertically. If the chopsticks are left in this straight up-and-down position, it can be considered rude, so those who want to rest their chopsticks should either use a provided chopstick rest or simply lay the sticks on the side of a bowl or plate.
Travelers should keep in mind that each Asian nation, and indeed even a specific region within an individual nation, is likely to have its own set of etiquette. Rules that apply in other parts of Asia may not apply in China.