Olympics-Less litter on China's Tiananmen in holiday week

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BEIJING, Oct 4 (Reuters) A massive government campaign to make China's capital Beijing more ''civilised'' in time to host the 2008 Olympics appears to be paying off.

Sanitation workers on Tiananmen Square -- Beijing's heart and a major attraction for tourists from around the country -- say they have had a lighter workload during this year's National Day holiday week.

''The garbage left at Tiananmen Square each day was about a third of the amount left by tourists last year,'' Xinhua news agency quoted an official from the Beijing Environment Sanitation Group as saying.

In the run-up to the Olympics next August, the government has been campaigning to curb queue-jumping, spitting, littering and even speaking loudly in public, fearful such behaviour could mar the city's image.

During China's last holiday week in May, Beijing fined more than 50 people for spitting and officials handed out some 10,000 bags to tourists to try to keep them from littering.

The country's official etiquette watchdog, the Spiritual Civilisation Steering Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, has also teamed up with the National Tourist Administration to publish a guide informing Chinese tourists to pay attention to their behaviour and image when travelling, Xinhua reported.

REUTERS JK RN1629

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