This Chinese Village Is So Rich It Built A Fake 'Great Wall' And 'Arc De Triomphe'


Photo: ap

Huaxi, in Jiangsu Province, is not your average Chinese village.In the past few decades it has transformed from a sleepy farming town to a surreal version of utopia where every person is entitled to free healthcare and education, a luxurious home, and cooking oil.

It is home to a “World Park” filled with replicas of the world’s most iconic landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty to the Arc de Triomphe.

And it’s putting the finishing touches on a glossy green skyscraper, set to become the world’s 15th tallest building.

Of course, life in this idyllic town comes at a cost. Residents work seven days a week, often in Huaxi’s industrial plants, and if you leave, you lose it all.

Thanks to photographer Bert van Dijk, who was kind enough to share some snapshots with us.

Welcome to Huaxi, the richest village in China. Around 328,700 people live here.

It's known for a standard of living uncharacteristic of rural China. Imported BMWs, Cadillacs, and Mercedes are not uncommon on Huaxi's roads.

Source: CRIWebcast

Every household is worth at least $250,000.

Source: The Daily Mail

Each adult is entitled to a free house. These luxury apartments overlook the waterfront.

Source: CRIWebcast

There is a catch, of course. All Huaxi residents are required to work seven days a week, often in the town's hi-tech steel and textile plants.

Source: CRIWebcast

Huaxi is the brainchild of Wu Ren Bao, who turned the sleepy farming town into a Chinese version of Eden.

Source: CRIWebcast

Here's a propaganda advertisement for Bao, who had the idea of putting the village on the stock exchange.

Source: CRIWebcast

Forget traditional farming--Huaxi engages in hi-tech hydroponic agriculture.

Source: CRIWebcast

Bao didn't want any of Huaxi's residents to get wet in the rain, so he built a sprawling network of covered walkways around the village.

Source: CRIWebcast

Even the restaurants are gilded. This one is decorated with an elaborate bird sculpture.

Of course, the 7-day workweek doesn't allow time for travel. So Bao has brought the world to Huaxi in the form of World Park.

Source: CRIWebcast

The park is filled with iconic monuments from within China, like the Forbidden City of Beijing.

And the Great Wall of China.

There are also European landmarks, like the Arc de Triomphe.

There's apparently a replica of the Sydney Opera House, though we couldn't find a picture. Check out the gondola in the background.

The U.S. is also represented--kind of. This monument combines the White House, Capitol and Statue of Liberty.

Here's a close-up of Huaxi's Lady Liberty, through the trees.

Now, Huaxi is putting the final touches on an immense skyscraper, which clocks in at 1,076 feet.

Here's the building's interior--it's got a strong torch theme.

From the skyscraper, you'll have a panoramic view of Huaxi's ornate buildings and neat public spaces.

At night, the village lights up like a Christmas tree.

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