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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 22:15, May 16, 2007
Less spitting reflects improving civilization: official
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Less spitting in public places reflected that citizens in the 2008 Olympic Games host city are paying more "civilized " in the run-up for the Games, said a government official on Wednesday.

In a survey by Capital Ethic Development Committee, a 1,700-hour observation on 230,000 passers-by in 320 public places found that last year 4.95 percent of the people spit, 3.5 percent less than the figure in 2005.

Lu Yingchuna, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission, said it was a reflection of improving civilization.

"It is not a meaningless survey. It indicates that Beijing citizens now have a higher level of civilization," said Lu.

"Beijing have launched campaigns to make the citizens aware of the public etiquette and now we see the outcome. I should say those campaigns worked," he said.

With 450 days to the opening the Games, Beijing continued to make effort in improving the "software" of the city ahead of the Olympics.

During the week-long Labor Day holiday which began on May 1, the local authorities meted out fines ranging from 20 yuan to 50 yuan (6.41 U.S. dollars) to 89 people for spitting in public in the latest effort.

The city government sent five inspection teams to patrol the downtown Wangfujing shopping district, Tian'anmen Square, commercial centers and railway stations to stop people from spitting, littering and pasting adverts and scrawling graffiti on walls.

Littering and graffiti were also targeted by the campaign. The officials handed out more than 10,000 plastic bags to tourists, reminding them not to litter.

Source: Xinhua

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