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Western characters in China (Beijing)

Hi all !

I find Chinese culture and business very interesting, and I think about visiting Beijing (or maybe other major cities). However learning Chinese characters looks horribly difficult. How can I manage in China without understanding characters ? Are there things written with western characters ? Like street names & directions, bus numbers, metro lines, train schedules and so on ? Some people told me that, those recent years, China uses western characters more and more. Can you confirm this ?

Thanx for informations !