PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 November, 2012, 11:04am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 November, 2012, 4:36pm

Wuhan to spend 40 billion yuan on 'European town'


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for Amy can be reached at, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

People who cannot afford a trip to Europe might consider going to Wuhan.

Wuhan, the capital city of China’s central Hubei province, will spend 40 billion yuan to build a “European town”, Xinhua reported on Thursday.

The new town aims to attract tourists, businesses, as well as home owners seeking quality housing, a local government official said.

Real estate developer Greenland Holdings has been selected as the contractor. It plans to finish the project within five years.

Wuhan’s ambition to build the “one and only” European town in central China baffles me. As wonderful as it sounds, what’s the point of spending so much money building a “fake” foreign town? Wouldn’t tourists prefer to enjoy traditional Chinese culture in Hubei?

Central China enjoys a rich history dating back thousands of years. I guess it just stopped sounding “profitable” to policy makers.

What’s more alarming is the huge cost: 40 billion yuan? The last time I checked, Hubei isn’t the richest province in China. Where will all the money come from? How many secret deals and potential corruption cases will result from this?

I hope by the time it’s built, the town will create more jobs and opportunities for people in Wuhan, not just for corrupt officials and greedy developers.




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