Source AP ©

Chinese director promotes better manners ahead of Beijing Olympics

Some of China’s biggest stars denounce bad manners like littering and poor parking etiquette ahead of the Olympics next year in eight TV public service announcements made by top Chinese director Feng Xiaogang.

"Besides showing the world its new image - its architecture, many modernized aspects of the city - Beijing should also show foreigners that the quality of its residents is quite good," Feng, one of China's most successful commercial directors, said at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

Footage of the event was posted on the Chinese news Web site Sina.com Thursday. Sina.com is a sponsor of Feng's campaign and is releasing the commercials on the Internet.

Feng said the ads, funded by a Chinese real-estate developer, will also air on movie channels, the popular Phoenix satellite channel and Beijing broadcaster BTV. He didn't specify which movie channels.

Among the preparations to spruce up the Chinese capital's image ahead of the Olympics, Beijing is spending US$40 billion (EUR30 billion) to upgrade its subways and roads. Government-sponsored etiquette campaigns aim to stamp out bad manners like cutting in line, spitting, littering and reckless driving.

Taxi drivers are under pressure to learn some English. Officials are trying to wipe out "Chinglish," the ungrammatical English that abounds on billboards, menus and storefronts.

Beijing also plans to ban vehicles and shut factories during the Olympics to cut pollution.

Two of the ads already posted on Sina.com feature actor Ge You and singer Yang Kun. The other ads feature actresses Zhou Xun and Lin Xinru, actor Huang Xiaoming, singer Zhang Liangying and the pop duo Yu Quan.

In Ge's ad, the actor frowns on a young man who tosses a cigarette butt on the street. He volunteers to have his picture taken with the young man and his friends, then asks him to pick up the butt.

"I also have this bad habit," Ge, one of China's biggest stars, says, adding, "Let's correct this bad habit together."

Ge is best known to Western audiences for his role in famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou's "To Live."

In Yang's ad, the singer is shown helping a pregnant woman to park her car.

It wasn't immediately clear how much the ads cost.

Feng's credits include "The Banquet," "Cell Phone," "A World Without Thieves" and "Big Shot's Funeral," starring Donald Sutherland.

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