Luxuries from China’s Forbidden City to Travel to the United States

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BEIJING (AP).- Deep in a long-forgotten corner of the Forbidden City and up a twisting stairway are four sets of twin doors, shut for more than eight decades. They reveal rare sweeping views to the north, south, east and west above the golden-tiled rooftops of the imperial palace. The surrounding walls silence the passing tour groups. On the horizon, modern high-rises are softened by the Beijing smog. The view from this private corner has hardly changed since the Chinese emperor Qianlong designed this courtyard for his retirement more than 200 years ago. “In my 80s, exhausted from diligent service, I will cultivate myself, rejecting worldly noise,” Qianlong wrote of the pavilion, where the floors have been stripped to packed earth and straw as part of a major restoration. Few