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article imageChina clamping down on streets, projects with foreign names

By Lucky Malicay     Mar 29, 2016 in Lifestyle
Evocative English names like “Manhattan,” “Venice,” “Central Park” and "Chateau Edinburgh" will soon become things of the past, at least in China.
A Chinese official said the government will soon launch a crackdown on streets and other projects with foreign names.
"Some cities have multiple 'Manhattan' or 'Venice' roads," Civil Affairs minister Li Liguo said in a report from AP.
"It's not only an inconvenience to travelers but also erodes a sense of home," Li said.
In a recent televised speech, Li said China has a rich cultural heritage that should inspire real estate developers, adding the government will soon change the imported names of streets and other developments.
The move is aimed at limiting Western influence that has been rapidly on the rise across the country, triggered by China’s unprecedented economic growth for decades.
Reuters carried a Xinhua News Agency report quoting Li as saying the Chinese government will “stem irregularities in naming the country's roads, bridges, buildings and residential compounds, targeting arbitrary uses of foreign and bizarre names."
"Certain types of names will be targeted, including names that damage sovereignty and national dignity, names that violate the socialist core values and conventional morality, and names that induce the most public complaints," Li added.
Upscale residential compounds with foreign names have become popular in China as the country opens up further to the outside world.
In the capital city of Beijing, there is a condominium compound called the “Central Park” and an upscale apartment named "Chateau Edinburgh." Another high-end project is called the "Yuppie International Condos.”
The country is also known for constructing replicas of famous towns, cities and financial districts around the world.
In the northern port city of Tianjin, China has been building its own version of New York’s Manhattan that is designed to be the world’s largest financial center. It is scheduled for completion in 2019.
In Dalian City, there is an imitation of the northern Italian city of Venice that is attracting thousands of tourists, another example of China’s fondness of duplicating famous European landmarks and cities.
Li made the remarks during a conference that reviewed a geographical survey being conducted by the State Council since 2014.
“During the survey, which will last till 2018, inspectors will check geographical names and related information, give names to places without names, install signs and update the national database and archive with all this new information,” Xinhua reported.
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