Signs of change on Chongqing's expat street

Source:Global Times Published: 2009-11-11 3:15:29

By Xu Shenglan

A popular expat street in Southwest China's Chongqing went through a makeover of sorts after several racy overhead street signs were removed to make way for more sanitized ones that reflect China.

Foreigners' Street or Yangren Jie, a riverside road in Nan'an district, is renowned for its restaurants, pubs and cafés, some of which are operated by foreigners.

The signs, erected by workers on the street, were not promoting any businesses or products.

One said, "Kick your lover's ass," while another proclaimed, "We are not tempted by beauties, but there are too many beauties."

Some pushed the envelope, "You will have a fantastic night if you put your wife and mistress together" and "Love should be worked out." Another in front of a naked statue that said "Love Land" embarrassed some.

The management of the street replaced most of the 115 controversial slogans starting in September.

"About 80 percent of the controversial slogans were changed to positive and encouraging mottos or philosophical sayings for the 60th National Day celebrations and work goes on," said Yang Xiaorong, a worker on Foreigners' Street.

The new slogans include a quote by Bo Xilai, the secretary of the municipal Party committee, referring to late Chairman Mao Zedong.

"I like how Chairman Mao puts it: The world is ours, we will all have to work together," it said.

An official from the publicity department of the Communist Party of China, Chongqing Nan'an district committee, said the project was part of the "red" events campaign launched by Bo last June.

"We encourage more citizens to join the activity and to become a civilized Chongqin-ger," the official said.


Chongqing Evening News reported Tuesday that the red slogans encourage tourists to behave more civilized.

Fewer people littered on streets during the National Day holidays, it said.

Authorities will collect ideas from tourists and citizens for other slogans, and will pay 1,000 yuan ($146) per word for those selected.

However, some citizens worry that the renovated Foreigners' Street will not be attractive anymore.

"I believe most of the young people like me go there because the signs were funny, but it'll be boring if it's changed into a serious style," said Jiang Lingli, 23, a local citizen.

Workers on Foreigners' Street told the Global Times Tuesday that they share the same concern.

"That's why we collect the slogans from the tourists and citizens. We'll improve their ideas and make them more civilized and entertaining," said Yang Xiaorong. "We've col-lected more than 1,000 ideas through emails, phone messages, telephone and fax as of today."

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