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China to clear out foreign, bizarre geographical names

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2016-03-23 10:16:53

China to clear out foreign, bizarre geographical names

China has decided to limit foreign place names in roads, bridges, buildings, and residential compounds, according to an official in charge of a survey of geographical names.[Photo/IC]

It is possible for a person to leave "Provence," a residential compound, and on their way to meeting friends at "Manhattan Plaza" shopping mall, they can walk by buildings called Venice or Milan.

While this might sound attractive to those whose blood runs red with wanderlust, China has decided this is not a true reflection of the history and culture of this vast nation, and will limit foreign place names in roads, bridges, buildings, and residential compounds, according to an official in charge of a survey of geographical names.

Civil Affairs Minister Li Liguo made the remarks at a conference on Tuesday that reviewed the State Council's ongoing survey, which was launched in 2014.

Li called for names that would better reflect China's culture, history and traditions.

The first slew of names to be changed will be those that cause damage to sovereignty or national dignity, those that are at odds with socialist core values, those deemed immoral, as well as those that have attracted the most public complaints, Li said.

In addition, exaggeration will also be grounds for a name change, for example if a place is called "Vienna woods" but only has a handful of trees, or "Venice water town" but just has a small pond, a new name will be on the cards.

Moreover, places with tenuous links to historical figures or celebrities, such as "hometown of Ximen Qing", a fictional figure who is an infamous seducer, will all be told to rebrand themselves.

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.

China has conducted geographical names survey in 1983 and 1984.

 

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