Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Chongqing: City halts red theme park plan [China Daily]

Just five days after it was announced to go ahead, and on the back of the 90th anniversary of party celebrations, the 32.8 million strong Chongqing City (sister of Seattle in the States) say no to the 128 hectare 2.5 billion yuan ($386.5 million) red theme park plan as the municipality feels it is an inappropriate (read extravagant) use of resources. Pretty amazing stuff.

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City halts red theme park plan
By Tan Zongyang
Source – China Daily, published July 9, 2011

$300m project ‘not feasible’, say officials in Chongqing

BEIJING – Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality halted on Thursday a plan to build a Red Classic Theme Park that has sparked heated debate.

The park, which was planned to occupy more than 128 hectares in the city’s Nanchuan district, would take the shape of China and display sculptures of the predecessors of the Communist Party of China, imitations of former leaders’ homes and landmarks in China’s red culture and its revolutionary history, according to the Chongqing Red Classic Investment Co Ltd, the main investor of the project.

According to the initial plan, the park would cost 2.5 billion yuan ($386.5 million) over the next four years before its completion. The investment would come from a private enterprise, Chongqing Evening News reported on Tuesday.

“The project has been stopped by the municipal government because the authorities thought it was not feasible,” Li Jing, deputy director of the publicity department of Nanchuan district, told China Daily on Friday.
Li declined to give more details.

The project, which was announced right after the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China early this month, had stirred controversies because of its extravagant spending.

On the Nanchuan district government’s website, a resident surnamed Liao posted a letter saying the money should be spent on more urgent needs, such as providing financial support for migrant workers or building more affordable houses.

“The city government should carefully conduct feasibility research and solicit public opinion before making a decision,” Liao wrote.

Ren Chengmin, a 48-year-old resident, told China Daily she feels the park is unnecessary because there are already many red tourism sites, memorial squares and monuments in the city.

“I wish the government would build more small community parks for our leisure and sports activities, rather than a huge theme park,” Ren said.
However, Jiang Guoli, a 54-year-old Chongqing woman, said she thinks it was a pity because the park could give another option for people to take a rest and learn about the country’s past.

According to the plan, the park would have a 1,949-square-meter national flag and a 1,921-sq-m Party flag to commemorate the birth year of the People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party of China.

“Those flags will help to pass on red culture and enhance the sense of national pride,” Chongqing Evening News quoted Chen Xiaofeng, head of the company that invested in the park, as saying.

However, experts have raised questions about the social and economic benefits of the project.

Wang Guohua, a tourism expert at Beijing University of Technology, said he believed the park would not attract enough visitors to cover its expenses if it were built.

“Parks are for entertainment and should create a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere for the people instead of putting such emphasis on a history of wars and chaos,” Wang told China Daily on Friday.

He said such a large-scale park would be a waste of land and money, and would also have maintenance difficulties in the future.

“The government did the right thing to abandon the plan,” he said.

China Daily


Filed under: China Daily, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Nationalism, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

2 Responses

  1. faye lim says:

    I totally agree that the government should not waste precious money building monuments. There are lots around already. Taking care of the people’s needs are a better way to bring the country together as a whole. Small neighbourhood parks are way better for the enjoyment of the people, who could provide the care it needed without incurring huge costs.
    Instead plant more trees, the earth needs them to further reduce climate change. Making do with less is best or we will sure to suffer the consequences in a bigger way than what is happening already.

  2. Greetings Faye, I’ll have to agree – surely a country as pragmatic as China know that they have to deal with the pollution in tangible ways sooner or later – I think this move proves that the Chinese people know when to say no the government.

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