China tells developers: Stop giving things embarrassing Western names

In China, places like Manhattan Plaza, Central Park, Yuppie International Condos, Merlin Champagne Town and Thames Town might soon be looking for new names.

Property developments with Western names have become common throughout China, where realtors and developers say that American, British and French names evoke sophistication and help attract status-conscious buyers. While the trend has long amused foreigners living in China, the government in Beijing considers it a real threat to the country’s “sovereignty” and “national dignity.”