From state media:
A recent online survey showed that over 80 percent of Chinese people are opposed to setting the translation of China’s capital city as “Peking.” Instead, they favor the standard Chinese spelling of “Beijing.”
The survey, initiated by the China Youth Daily in association with Web site sina.com.cn, features questions about various phenomena in the usage of Romanized Chinese words, or Pinyin.
Fair enough, I suppose, though this would seem a non-issue. Aside from names like Peking Duck, Peking University and Peking Opera (whose name has brewed its own equally inane controversy in the past) , which predated the creation of the pinyin system, who on Earth still says Peking instead of Beijing? (Aside from the French, that is. And the Germans.) Still, I’m guessing that this means 20% of Chinese people still like “Peking,” (which would be truly bizarre – I wonder if even 20% of English-speakers would use that name these days) or – far more likely – couldn’t care less.
While it (perhaps intentionally) isn’t made clear whether this means Chinese people would like “standard” Chinese names applied universally across the globe or just on the street signs in their own cities (though here again, the Beijing/Peking dispute would make little sense – here in Shanghai we have Tibet Road and not Xizang Lu, but Beijing Road instead of Peking Road), the article’s author decides to let other unnamed “experts” speak for them:
Some experts have pointed out that “only by preserving its own cultural traditions and nationalism in international communication can a nation speak to the world in an equal voice.”
No word yet on whether New Yorkers prefer “New York” over “Niu Yue.”