China is extremely worried that its citizens are being good to Chinese because they are naming things like housing developments after foreign places. Evidently, this will “violate the socialist core values and conventional morality,” showing once again that socialism in China has absolutely nothing in common with anything having to do with actual socialism. Of course, China is fighting what is no doubt a losing battle, especially considering those who care about this the most are probably the same wealthy people who are increasingly internationalized.
Once a name is in use, though, changing it can be problematic. Officials tried to rename a street in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, ostensibly because the Chinese character used to represent its foreign name was often mispronounced by people unfamiliar with the place, China National Radio said. But residents objected and filed a lawsuit to block the change, citing the potential loss of historical identity.
Previous efforts to change foreign place names in China have not been wholeheartedly embraced, either. In the southeastern city of Fuzhou, a housing development known as Fontainebleau was ordered by local officials to change its name, which became Gaojiayuan. Afterward, one resident complained to a local newspaper that she missed her bus stop after the signs were changed.
And a real estate agent confessed that while the official name was now Gaojiayuan, for the purpose of selling houses it would always be called Fontainebleau.
Personally, I am just amused that the Chinese are building houses that are supposed to emulate log cabins in Jackson Hole, although in a nation that populated, it’s a horrible use of land.