Changing Guangzhou’s name to Canton will raise city's international profile, delegate suggests

Guangzhou would be better served with a change of name to Canton, delegate to the CPPCC says

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 5:40pm

A delegate to the local People’s Political Consultative Conference in the southern city of Guangzhou has suggested the city change its official English name back to Canton to raise its international profile, the Yancheng Evening News reported.

“The ‘Yue’ [regional language] is called Cantonese in the West. One hundred and ten million people around the world speak this [language], which comes from Canton," Lei Jianwei said at the Guangzhou Municipal People’s Congress.

“Foreigners have called it that for 200 years, but now the translation of the city is the pinyin 'Guangzhou'. I suggest we upgrade this to a strategic height.”

Lei said the 12th five-year plan had seven points to raise Guangzhou’s international position, including culture, international trade, talent, travel and aviation, and its official English language name was important, like it was the city’s namecard.

He even suggested Guangzhou authorities design a coat of arms or logo and it be printed on Mayor Chen Jianhua’s namecard.

The name Canton originally came from a Portuguese language rendering of Guangzhou.