China says no more foreign street names like ‘Manhattan’
BEIJING — China says it will clamp down on foreign-sounding and “bizarre” names after too many streets and developments called “Manhattan” or “Venice” have popped up amid decades of frenzied building.
Civil affairs minister Li Liguo said in a recently televised speech that the government will change over-the-top or imported names and encourage real estate developers and city planners to seek inspiration instead from China’s rich cultural heritage.
“Some cities have multiple ‘Manhattan’ or ‘Venice’ roads,” Li said. “It’s not only an inconvenience to travelers but also erodes a sense of home.”
It’s common in Chinese cities to encounter words like “elite” or “chateau” in the names of shopping malls or housing compounds. In Beijing, there’s a “Central Park” condominium compound while another upscale project goes by “Yuppie International Condos.”
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