China's fourth space launch center witnesses life changes

20:05, January 19, 2011      

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Pupils get on a school bus in the new primary school at the relocation area in Longlou Township of Wenchang, south China's Hainan Province, Jan. 11, 2011. The new school equipped with computers and other advanced teaching facilities, opened last September. (Xinhua/Li Xiaoguo)

China's fourth space launch center was announced to be built at Wenchang City, on the northeast coast of the tropical island province of Hainan, in September of 2007.

The city, whose economy depends on agriculture and fishery traditionally, has been witnessing a period full of changes and opportunities since then.

A series of projects have been launched as the space launch center started construction in September, 2009.

An aerospace theme park based on the aerospace launch site broke ground in December of 2010, which is estimated to cost 3 billion yuan (455 million U.S. dollars) and is expected to be finished in 2013.

The park zone will contain four parts, separately for the earth, the sun, the moon, and the Mars, providing amusement, launch site tour, and actual launching show.

A 27-hectare aerospace breeding base also started construction a few days ago, which plans to breed new types of plants through cooperation with the new launch center.

Besides that, infrastructure such as new roads, a cross-sea bridge and a harbor are also under construction to meet the need of transportation of huge equipments like rocket components in the future.

The ever peaceful city at one time has become a busy and vigorous place now.

Meanwhile the life of local people has greatly changed as new projects would cover the land and seaside they used to live on.

Villagers have to move from the familiar circumstances and choose new careers. Some of the locals were quite cooperative with the moving since they realized that it also brought opportunities for a better life.

Zheng Yin, who used to live on seafood breeding in Changhou Village of Longlou Township, is one of the quick-doer among locals. "Sooner or later we have to move, the quick-doer will get more advantages", Zheng told Xinhua reporter.

He began to do business in small construction projects as he thought the demand for buildings and houses would be large when people starting moving. He also wanted to invest on real estate.

Zheng Yin is quite ambitious for the future life because he believes more tourists will come here as the launch center and other relative projects are finished.

However, not all the relocated villagers are as lucky as Zheng. Although receiving reasonable compensation and moving into spacious new houses free of charge, most of villagers are still worrying about their future life.

The local government has been making all efforts to expand job opportunities to help those who lost their land adapt to the urban life.

A series of measures such as providing training courses on computer technology and financial management, increasing working posts, building new factories are all underway.

Ahead of the 2011 Spring Festival, dozens of local farmers who have been relocated will soon be reemployed as city sanitation workers or public security guards.

Later, new projects such as flower planting base and food processing factory will be initiated, providing more approaches of livelihood for farmers.

At present, a brand new economic developing path has been laid out for Wenchang, with space industry as its core.

The sequent opening of projects such as space theme park and aerospace plant breeding base will provide unprecedented opportunity for Wenchang, boosting the agriculture and tourism to a new level.

Wenchang, once known for beautiful sea views and delicious Wenchang Chicken, a local delicacy, will soon has a new label -- the Space City.

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