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Starbucks Must Leave Forbidden City
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A member of parliament has demanded that Starbucks close its coffee shop inside Beijing's Forbidden City, according to media reports on Sunday.

Jiang Hongbin said he submitted a motion to the National People's Congress to close the outlet immediately, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The outlet has been a source of controversy since it opened in 2000. The nearly 600-year-old Forbidden City was the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties and is now a museum.

"The Forbidden City is one of the non-tradable products as its value cannot be measured in monetary terms," media reports quoted Jiang as saying. "As long as it stays in the imperial palace, it poses a challenge to our traditional culture."

A popular online campaign to press for the removal of the Starbucks outlet was launched earlier this year.

(China Daily March 14, 2007)

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