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Cities promote 'energy saving' in blackouts
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Beijing authorities switched off the landscape lights and flood lamps at Wangfujing, the busiest commercial street in the Chinese capital, for 30 minutes Sunday night, in the hope of raising the public awareness of saving energy.

The lamps along the 810-meter-long street and indoor lights were not shut off during the blackout so people could shop as usual, said Li Jun, an official with the construction and management office of the Wangfujing area.

"The glamorously-lighted street has been a famous tourist attraction for more than 20 years. I think a blackout here is significant to promote energy conservation for sustainable development," said Li.

In some communities of Beijing, residents also switched off lights and unplugged appliances in the mean time to experience the adverse effects caused by lack of energy.

Beijing is one of the eight Chinese cities, which also include Shanghai, Harbin, Xi'an, Chongqing, Nanjing, Wuhan and Shenzhen, that joined in this "nationwide energy saving activity" proposed by the National Development and Reform Commission early this month.

In Shanghai, the landscape lights on the Bund were off from 8 pm till 8:30 pm while more than 300 guests from all walks of life, in white T-shirts printed with "nationwide energy saving activity," were invited to perform a chorus on the Bund.

"The 30-minute blackout is surely exemplary but I hope the government can take some concrete measures to adjust the lighting system and promote the energy-saving lamps," said Long Weiding, a professor at Tongji University.

(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2007)

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