Bastion of China's planned economy places first ads

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BEIJING -- The Ministry of Railways, long- considered the symbol of China's planned economy, has begun placing full-page advertisements in the country's most influential newspapers, including the People's Daily and the Economic Daily. It's the first time the ministry has advertised since 1949. Local news reports describe the move as a sign of the ministry's determination to suit the demands of a market economy. The full-page ads are about its new time table after it increased the speed of trains on four major trunk lines connecting Beijing with Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi'an and Nanjing. The railway system is a government monopoly.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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