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Outdoor Ads Banned in Beijing's Special Areas

Outdoor advertising at Tian'anmen Square and official and cultural areas along Chang'an Avenue, including ads on buses, have been banned, according to a local order which will go into effect starting October 1 in Beijing.

The order, which has been called the Beijing Municipal Outdoor Advertising Management Measures, was approved by the local government during a regular conference last week, the Beijing Times reported.

The number of current irregular advertisements has not yet been made public.

Beijing began to remove advertisments in the Tian'anmen Square and Chang'an Avenue areas in 1999, when the capital city celebrated the 50th anniversary of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Vehicles displaying ads are also forbidden from passing through the area.

Tian'anmen Square, the biggest city square in the world, holds a special place in contemporary Chinese history.

The Tian'anmen Rostrum, where the late Chairman Mao Zedong announced the founding of the PRC, and the Great Hall of the People, where the annual conference of the country's top legislative body -- the National People's Congress -- is held, are located within the square.

Chang'an Avenue, the widest street in China, passes through the square.

"After careful consideration, we decided to better enforce the current policy over advertising management in Tian'anmen Square and along Chang'an Avenue, which has proven to be effective in practice," Zhou Jidong, director of the municipal government's Legal Affairs Office, said earlier.

Zhou's office is responsible for drafting the regulation.

According to the official, loosening restrictions would negatively influence the area's image. Any tightening would impact on the development of the advertising industry.

Besides the Tian'anmen Square and the Chang'an Avenue, several other areas are also prohibited from displaying any outdoor advertisements.

They include areas around Zhongnanhai, which is the headquarters of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, foreign embassies, governments, schools, scenic spots and cultural relics, according to the order.

As for areas where outdoor advertisement is not prohibited, advertising must not cover communications symbols or extend above the road.

Advertisements are also forbidden at interchanges or overpasses in the capital city, according to the regulations that will go effective next month.

(China Daily September 13, 2004)

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