City planning official: Beijing 7th Ring Road may not be 7th or may not be ring road, or something

Two of China's most backward industries — news media and urban planning — come together in one Xinhua report (published today) that appears to be written for the purpose of confusing you. Below is a rough translation of most of the article:

Concerning the matter of constructing Beijing's 7th Ring Road, this morning journalists interviewed Miss Zhu, the secretary of Professor Wu Liangyong of Tsinghua University. She told the journalists that a small work group under the leadership of Professor Wu Liangyong was definitely engaged in city planning design for Beijing, including the construction of a 7th ring road. Today at 11am, an official from the Beijing City Planning Committee confirmed for journalists that there was definitely a plan for such a road.

The City Planning Committee official said:

"But this road may not be called the 7th Ring Road, because the 7th ring road in Beijing must pass through many mountainous areas, so its rank (等级) may not be as high the 6th Ring Road, in order to ensure smooth traffic flow."

Ah yes, it's all perfectly clear now.

Xinhua: Beijing plans construction of 7th Ring Road, to go through many mountainous areas (in Chinese)

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