World Notes: Oct. 20, 1986

CHINA At the Tone the Time Will Be

Nineteen feet in diameter, the clock atop Shanghai's Customs Building is by far the largest timepiece in China. After the frenzied Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, it tolled each new hour by blaring through 40 loudspeakers the melody of the ubiquitous Communist anthem, The East Is Red (sample lyric: "China has brought forth a Mao Tse-tung/ For the people's happiness he works").

To eliminate a vestige of the turbulent past, the Shanghai city council has changed the clock's tune. This month it began sounding stately bongs, much as it did in the pre-Communist...

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