BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- A new coffee shop opened last week inside the
Palace Museum, located exactly at the same place where a controversial Starbucks
coffee shop had situated for seven years.
With wooden tables, wooden chairs and pictures featuring Chinese culture,
the "Forbidden City Cafe" serves not only coffee, but also traditional Chinese
beverage such as tea.
"Different from the Starbucks coffee shop, the Palace Museum is the
managerial authority of the cafe," Beijing Daily quoted Li Wenru, deputy curator
of the Forbidden City, as saying.
In a separate interview with the Beijing Youth Daily, the deputy curator
emphasized that the "Forbidden City Cafe" is only part of a store which mainly
sells souvenirs to tourists.
"We want to provide tourists with a package of products relating to
imperial palace and Chinese culture," Li said.
In 2000, the Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. opened its outlet in the Palace
Museum, the former imperial palace, at the heart of Beijing.
The outlet, however, closed its door in July this year after facing years
of opposition as some Chinese think the American coffee shop poses a challenge
to traditional Chinese culture.