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Beijing roads cleared for African leaders

(Xinhua)

08:15, July 18, 2012

BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Several key roads in Beijing will be cleared of traffic starting Tuesday as the Chinese capital rolls out its red carpet for African leaders attending a high-level forum in the city this week.

Beijing police on Tuesday announced temporary closures of the airport expressway, Chang'an Avenue, and the East section of the Second Ring Road during July 17-21, and closures of several downtown roads around the conference venues in July 19-20.

"The roads will be cleared for the foreign dignitaries and members of the international organizations," according to a police notice, adding that any closure of the road will be notified two hours in advance.

"People should arrange their travels accordingly and better opt for public transport during this period," it added.

Traffic clearance is usual in Beijing, especially during the annual congressional sessions in March, but disruption of traffic has stirred up growing complaints from the public in recent years as Beijing's congestion has worsened with more than 5 million vehicles on the roads.

Beijing will host the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) on July 19-20. Chinese President Hu Jintao and several African leaders will grace the conference, China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun said earlier. China is expected to announce new measures to strengthen cooperation with Africa at the conference.

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