China sends 2 million residents on vacation in G20 makeover

Ahead of the G20 summit set to begin this weekend in Hangzhou, more than 2 million residents of the eastern Chinese city have went on vacation - subsidized by the government.

The city government ordered one week of vacation and distributed travel coupons worth more than 1.1 billion dollars.

As a result, about one-third of the city's population has left ahead of the meeting of world leaders, which is set to take place on Sunday and Monday, Chinese travel agency Ctrip estimated.

It's the first time China will host the annual summit, and Beijing is keen that it goes off without a hitch.

City streets won't only be devoid of people, but also automobiles, with the government banning about half of car transportation. Production at factories in a 300-kilometre radius around the city was also shut down, allowing the smog to clear.

The local government has also ramped up security ahead of the summit, setting up 172 checkpoints for traffic, which leave "no blind spot" in the city streets.

Altogether about 1.5 million assistants have been recruited to help organize the summit, with volunteers patrolling residential areas to maintain order.

The meeting in Hangzhou, set to start Sunday, is the first for the leaders of the world's key economies since Britain voted in June to leave the European Union.

Last update: Fri, 02/09/2016 - 13:41

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