Beijing’s suburban county to build a billion-dollar English-only European town
From Beijing News
Miyun county, situated at northeast Beijing, is going to invest more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) on the construction of an English-speaking town as large as 60 hectares (165 acres) where no Chinese is allowed, according to county chief Wang Haichen.
“It is a significant development project with the nature of a tourist attraction,” Wang said yesterday at the county’s Fifteen People’s Congress, a government meeting. The English town with European architectural style is expected to give visitors a feeling of going abroad. “The town will be divided into 16 city block. It is a walled castle,” Wang said.
Photo of Miyun County Chief Wang Haichen at the party meeting. The news headline reads, Miyun to build an English-speaking town; “No Chinese.”
Visitors will need a passport which has to be stamped upon entry into the city. After they get inside, “speaking any Chinese will cause one to get penalty points.”
Wang’s announcement of his county’s behemoth effort to promote the English language and lifestyle has provoked a great deal of backlash and unsurprisingly, scoffs, from netizens. “So Miyun is about to build the country’s largest English Corner?” “Don’t end up despising yourself.” “I wonder if foreign guests who speak German and French would protest?”
Selected comments from Sina Weibo (973 comments and 1,597 retweets at press time)
李磊的微博的小屋：Have money to burn. If you have 10 billion, why don’t you purchase school buses for pupils and high school students, provide free lunch, build nursing homes for widowed and lonely elderly, and provide free health care to people in Miyun County? Why build the f**king English-speaking town?
家在林海：The creativity knows no bounds when it is about the land and public funds. He can even come up with such an idea. What a talented county chief!
梦见镜花缘：F**k, another brainless person at a high position!
桃桃的保镖：Seek independence! The country name: The United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Miyun County.
自由單車：To facilitate Chinese people’s going abroad, we have to learn English; to facilitate foreigners’ coming to China, we still have to learn English. Now English is even taught in kindergartens. Does it work? Why can’t foreigners be required to learn Chinese? Isn’t “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” always on our lips?
wangluozhu：What about establishing a virtual country on Weibo that observes European and U.S. democracy and law?
sowhat最紧要开心：An uneducated official is more formidable than a ghost.
LudyLu：This news sounds as hokum as a rumor.
水仙姐姐888：Officials everywhere keep up with the Wangs and churn out novel ideas. In order to get promotion, make a fortune, and create political achievements, they can even abandon their ancestors.
殷勤活宝：This is unconstitutional. Is speech free on the Chinese land? Now even languages have to be regulated with a strong-arm policy.
小果子Jacqueline：Gonna say to him (in English): fuck off
自留山：Actually in Continental Europe, only foreigners speak English. Each country speaks its own language. Those who speak English are aliens and will be brushed aside. Only in UK do people speak English.
胡兆峰：What a xehophile with the look of a slave! Our revolutionary martyrs finally chased away the devils in the foreign-run concessions with great difficulty, and now some people can’t wait to build a concession voluntarily and pretend to be a foreign devil.
快乐微言2011：It seems no matter how much money they have, they will not spend any on (improving) people’s livelihood.