Chinese province steps up use of English

Civil servants in a Chinese province will learn to speak English by the year 2015 to provide better services to people.

All civil servants with a university degree and under the age of 40 in Xi'an, capital of northwestern Shaanxi province, should be able to speak more than 300 sentences following the approval of an English training programme by the municipal government.

The government aim to popularise English in many service industries, including hotels, restaurants, taxis, police offices and hospitals, the China Daily reported.

The city will also provide multilingual counselling on its emergency telephone number, the report said.

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