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  • Thursday, October 19, 2006

    News from the Chengdu Weekly – 15 October

    Today I received my first copy of the Chengdu Weekly dated 15 October. It is an eight page newspaper published every Sunday in English which I will receive regularly. Each week I’ll post some the Chengdu news which I think might be of interest or might help convey an image of Chengdu.

    Good News - Bus Stop Signs Goes Bilingual: Bilingual signs with Chinese and English will be installed to replace the present boards at bus stops along the major traffic routes and at scenic spots in downtown Chengdu. Officials explained that the new signs will offer convenience for travelers from all over the world and expatriates living in Chengdu who may have trouble reading the old signs written in Chinese and pinyin. Installation of the 1,229 new signs will be completed by the end of the month.

    Buses to Take on Color: Chengdu's buses will be distinguished by colors as to differentiate the routes they run. There are about 4,100 buses in the city and by February of next year buses will take on colors of red, green, blue and yellow with routes of fast track, circling the city, sub-branch, and outskirts bound respectively. Passengers will be able to distinguish buses they intend to take by colors even from a far distance.

    Chengdu – A Major Tourist Destination: Chengdu ranked fifth among the most popular tourist destinations in the Chinese mainland during the National Day holiday, the Golden Week [the first week in October this year], according to a survey by Ctrip, a leading travel agency in China. The survey said that the status of Chengdu as a leisure city and a transportation hub, as well as the rich tourism resources in the nearby areas, had contributed to the rise of Chengdu in the rankings. The survey included 40 major tourism cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Wuxi, Shangai and Sanya which hosted 51.29 million tourists, reaping a total of 24.1 billion yuan in tourism revenue.

    Digital Cameras to Curb Crime: Chengdu will install 2,210 digital camera devices on streets as a means to improve public security. Video sent back by the devices will be transmitted to 68 surveillance centers in the city. The public security departments are recruiting new staff to work in the surveillance centers. The size of the captured video can be adjusted to locate persons or objects suspected in an offense. The device was first put into use by the Wuhou District in May and proved effective in areas where police patrol is inadequate especially during the night.

    Chengdu Raises Minimum Wage: The minimum wage of the city's urban area has been raised to RMB580 yuan [per month]. The Chengdu Municipal Governement set new minumum wage standards for salaries for full-time and odd jobs. Salaries will rise according to the living standards in different areas. People living in the five urban districts and the Chengdu National High Tech Development Zone will enjoy the highest increase of 130 yuan from the previous 450 yuan. Work overtime and holiday duties shall be paid extra money aside from the minimum wage. [Note: Approximately RMB 8 yuan equals 1 US dollar.]


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