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|Saturday, May 12, 2001, updated at 11:06(GMT+8)|
Coal City to Build Golf Course on Fallen LandHuaibei, a coal-producing city in east China's Anhui Province, has found a new and innovative use for its vast areas of abandoned land -- a golf course.
Centuries of coal mining has left 150 square kilometers of unusable land to a city of 200 square kilometers, causing huge losses of farmland, roads, bridges, water conservation facilities and forcing many farmers to leave their homes.
"We have been seeking to turn the abandoned land into something useful for decades," said Wang Bangjie, secretary of the City Committee of the Communist Party of China. Wang has worked 30 years in Huaibei.
In May last year, Wang went to Beijing for a high-tech exposition and met his former classmate, Wang Zhigang, president of the Beijing Kangsaide Trade Group. They discussed the economic development of Huaibei.
On his subsequent visits to the city, Wang Zhigang found that its vast areas of fallen land, with 38 shallow lakes dotting 14, 700 hectares of flat land, small hills and gentle slopes make an ideal location for golf courses.
Further discussion with government officials and experts has led to an ambitious plan to build a holiday resort on the land, which will have seven golf courses, including six good enough for international championship play.
The plan does not stop here. The blueprint also includes ecological tourism, modern agriculture, high-tech zones and luxury real estate projects.
The plan has so far drawn 3 billion yuan of investment, and the government has promised the most preferential policies and best services for investors.
"In five years, you will find a new Huaibei with a beautiful environment," said Wang.
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