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Guangzhou plans ban on square dancing at night

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2014-06-14 07:26

A draft plan by Guangzhou's legislative office aims to ban square dancing in the city's parks and squares from 10 pm to 7 am.

It's the latest response to a growing number of complaints about loud music being played by residents exercising late at night or in the early morning in the capital of Guangdong province.

Square dancing is popular in many parks and public places, and sometimes, the noise affects residents who live nearby, said the draft plan by the Guangzhou Office of Legislative Affairs.

Those who violate the draft plan will be fined up to 1,000 yuan ($160), said the plan.

The public can voice comments on the draft plan via the Internet, e-mail, phone calls and letters to the city's legislative affairs office and the city's People's Congress before July 10.

If the draft plan is passed, Guangzhou is expected to become the first city in Guangdong to ban square dancing during the nine-hour period.

An official from the publicity department of the Guangzhou Administration of Forestry and Gardening said his department has received many complaints about the noise from square dancing in parks in recent years.

"Conflicts between residents and square dancers are frequent," said the official who did not want to be named.

Before the draft plan is passed, the administration is trying to encourage locals to exercise in areas far away from residential buildings, he said.

The draft plan has stirred mixed reactions from locals.

Chen Qingxia, a Guangzhou housewife and an avid fan of Yueju, or Guangdong opera, often joins her friends and neighbors at the city's Dongfeng Park to sing.

The 62-year-old retiree said she supports the plan because "I can choose another time to exercise if the draft plan is passed, as I have retired and have the flexibility".

But Wang Chenfang, another retired Guangzhou resident, argued that parks should be places for entertainment, leisure and exercise.

"Relevant departments have no reason to ban square dancing in parks, no matter the time," he said.

He Baoqi contributed to this story.


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