Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bullshit Building 8: Chinese Ghost Towns

In the ending of the my 3rd bullshit building article, I already mentioned that the Chinese elites haven't succeeded in dispelling the stereotype. Since "8" is such glorious number in Chinese tradition, I decided to continue the Chinese bullshit in this 8th installment of Bullshit Building series.

The year is 2007. After they unsuccessfully dispel the Chinese stereotype with their bullshit mall, the Chinese elites met again. They need to top the bullshit mall with something even grander, something that is far more epic. Finally, they agreed to build ... a bullshit city!!

The Beginning
They had their doubt at that time, because the worldwide economic crisis had just began. They knew that the building of anything could act as a stimulus for their economy, helping lessened the negative effect of the crisis, therefore undermining the bullshitness of the city. That doubt vaporized when one of them screamed "We WILL BUILD MULTIPLE BULLSHIT CITIES!! Nobody could mistake our bullshit if we build bullshit cities EVERYWHERE, in every corner of our country! Nobody would think we build it for wise stimulus if we build bullshit cities like crazy!"

Thus the first foundation of bullshit cities was laid.

Empty street of Zhengzhou New District
Thames Town
The Result
By 2012, the Chinese government already build multiple cities in every corner of their territory. Nearby the Mongolian borders, they built Ordos. Near Shanghai, in Songjiang district, they built "Thames Town," complete with the English guards! In Kunming prefecture, they built the Chenggong District.  In Henan province, they expanded the city of Zhengzhou, erecting "Zhenghou new district". See, they build bullshit cities everywhere! And that is not the complete list! We are talking about gigantic effort to dispel stereotype here, we have to think BIG! Very big!

All of these projects produce the desirable results: bullshit cities. You could see from the photos that all of these cities are still empty. Cities designed for hundred thousands people are filled only by several thousand people. Most of them are governtment officials. Remember the eerie feeling you felt when walking on the empty New South China mall? Multiply that by 100 since we are talking about city-scale bullshit here.
Zhengzhou New District from above
Chenggong from above

The people of China themselves are not amused. Many of them lived in cramped old flats in the dusty & overcrowded old cities. They really want to move to this new cities. Unfortunately, they don't have enough money to buy a flat there. Yup. To make sure this bullshit is really bullshit, speculators own most of the flats in this new cities, driving the price of every flats higher and higher. You think the burst of the real estate bubble in the US that caused world financial meltdown is bad? Wait till this bubble burst! You will sea world finance exploded, the explosion will be so great that its heat will melt the ice caps of Greenland!

An empty street in Ordos
Another empty street in Ordos
Another Theory
I have another theory why they build so many empty towns. Perhaps they practice Feng Shui in their whole country! Somewhere in their Feng Shui books they have to have this line:

"If you want to receive the positive Qi from the whole universe, build tons of bullshit cities in every corner of your country!"

This line spurred them to building frenzy that still last until today. Yup. You read it correctly, they are building new houses, malls, monuments, etc in those empty ghost towns. Either they really believe their Feng Shui, OR they really just want to show the world that they can be that stupid. Either way, the bullshit still continues until today.

Let's just hope this ends before it drags and buries the whole world.

Addendum 18.10.2012:
Some people utilize Ordos as skateboarding heaven!

Previous Bullshit Building: Patuxai Triumphal Arch
Next Bullshit Building: Every Statue of the Worst Tyrant

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