DJ From Lightbulbs to 5G, China Battles West for -2-
At a meeting in Canada two months later, delegates debated the draft. Proponents from Hong Kong said that Cantonese and Mandarin are mutually unintelligible, despite using similar written characters.
An unusually large Chinese delegation followed with dozens of slides aggressively attacking the draft, unnerving some attendees, said three people familiar with the meeting. A Chinese delegation member told The Wall Street Journal that the proposed writing system is used only in Hong Kong, and not by the 60 million Cantonese speakers elsewhere in China.
The proposal won support from countries including the U.S., Canada and Russia but failed on an administrative technicality. In May, proponents introduced it again and, in September, the French committee manager confirmed its passage, advancing it for adoption, said people familiar with the process.
Soon after, Russia withdrew support without explanation, halting adoption of the measure at least temporarily. Officials at Russia's standards agency didn't respond to requests for comment.
--Chieko Tsuneoka and Josh Chin contributed to this article.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 07, 2021 13:31 ET (18:31 GMT)
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