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Beijing to Hold Hearing on Lifting Firecracker Ban

Legislators of Beijing will hold a public hearing in late August on whether or not the Chinese capital should remove the 12-year ban on firing crackers, an official with the Beijing Municipal People's Congress General Office said Thursday.


The hearing will focus on two items in the draft regulation on safety of Fireworks and Firecrackers submitted by some municipal people's congress deputies on July 19.


One is whether the decision of banning firecrackers within the fifth ring road is reasonable and feasible? The other one is whether the decision to allow citizens living in the banned areas to play firecrackers during the Chinese Lunar New Year and other grand festivals is reasonable and feasible?


From Thursday on, all Beijing citizens, migrant workers and representatives of non-local companies can apply for attending the hearing through mail on Internet.


The new draft regulation on firecrackers was examined at the 21st meeting of the Standing Committee of the 12th Beijing Municipal People's Congress held last week to make it more feasible.


For centuries, the act of setting off firecrackers is a symbol of traditional Chinese festivals, especially the Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year.


However, it was banned in 1993 in Beijing, for it was considered being environmental unfriendly and a cause of fires and other accidents.


In the past 12 years, the ban on firecrackers has been severely questioned by many Beijing citizens, who held that it was unacceptable to change folk tradition which was handed down from their forefathers.


(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2005)

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