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People's Daily Online>>China Society

European-style project to ban spoken Chinese

By Li Qian   (Shanghai Daily)

09:08, December 16, 2011

A county northeast of Beijing plans to build a large European-style town and ban Chinese speaking there to boost local tourism, drawing overwhelming criticism online.

A local village will be turned into a 67-plus-hectare English castle with 16 courtyards of unique houses. It will offer visitors souvenir passports and ban the use of Chinese to create the illusion of being abroad, said Wang Haichen, head of the Miyun County.

So far, 4.5 million yuan (US$708,300) has been invested to transform 16 peasant courtyards in Caijiawa Village into English-style dwellings, Wang said, according to yesterday's Beijing News.

Some netizens appreciated Wang's intention to build an international tourism and leisure attraction, but they pointed out the irony of saying English didn't mean globalization.

An outraged netizen said: "Miyun County is part of Chinese territory. Why do we have to speak English in our motherland! We are allowed to speak Chinese even abroad!"

"In past years, we Chinese are allowed to speak Chinese in concessions," wrote another on the Chinese microblog "You betray the nation! You create a new concession! What a shame!"

Wang was also accused of lavishing millions of yuan in taxpayer money on the project.

Wang told the newspaper that each of the 16 peasant households had received 30,000 yuan in government subsidies to renovate the old houses and upgrade facilities. He said that one courtyard had been turned into a boutique hotel.

"We built a laundry center to supply clean bed linens to the 16 households free of charge," Wang said. "We are considering offering them bicycles and electric bikes next year."

Wang proposed his ambitious plan at a local people's congress meeting held on Wednesday, according to the newspaper. He hasn't responded to the wide criticisms, the report said.

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Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

ASEAN at 2011-12-19220.255.1.*
Wang Haichen head of the Miyun County ?I cannot believe what I read ! He got no pride in his own country and own language and still hold the post of head of the Miyun County ?The people in that county should remove him from the post immediately.
Harald at 2011-12-16130.82.71.*
No foreign tourist will ever go there. If they would build traditional Chinese architecture, maybe. But why go to see a fake England? I doubt many Chinese will go...

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