Tears, cheers greet China’s new economic zone

The business owner, Hu Weibing, mourns the prospect of losing everything, including his home, after China's surprise announcement to turn a rural place outside Beijing into a modern metropolis Nearly three times the size of the city of New York.

Hu's family clothing factory in northern Hebei province may close at the expense of a new special economic zone similar to that of Shanghai and Shenzhen.

The proposed new Xiongan Zone currently measures 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles) and holds less than one percent of Beijing's economic output, but the announcement last weekend triggered a Frenzy of real estate speculation that home buyers located outside the city Country has descended on the previously unknown area.

"This is definitely good for Hebei and the regional economy, but it is a disaster for medium – sized and small businesses like ours," Hu said, looking at the walls Bare concrete from the four-storey dreams house, he began building the last Year but will never be able to finish.

Although the authorities have not yet spoken to him of the above, he is preparing to advance the fashion that has become typical for government megaprojects: forced relocation and modest monetary compensation.

The changes will disperse its 40 local employees, trained carefully for two years to produce the winter jackets that Hu Yuhua Clothing Manufacturing sells to customers in Moscow.

And land prices elsewhere are guaranteed to be out of its reach.

"Building another factory or another villa like ours will be impossible. This is a terrible horror," he said quietly, unable to prevent the tears from sliding on his face after Having devoted decades of his life to the company.

"There will be no way to compensate us, but it is a huge national problem, so, whatever it is, we have to support it."

There are 19 "new zones" at national level scattered throughout China, of which 13 have been established since 2014.

But Xiongan stands out: President Xi Jinping personally designated his site during a February trip to the fields just outside the Hu village of Dawang, according to Xinhua News.

As a result of the announcement, housing prices have doubled in a single day, while speculators have queued outside the real estate offices, blocking streets With luxury vehicles as they struggled to hang property in cash.

Shocking chaos, local authorities quickly imposed strict prohibitions on home sales and ordered brokers to close their purchases.

In the middle of the week, offices across the area were closed, their metal gates pulled down and crosses of white ribbon on them for good measure.

But individuals with properties for sale were always willing to approach potential buyers with prices that had increased 300 percent in three days, they told AFP.

An investor surnamed Wang had come to check the opportunities of Beijing, 100 kilometers away, but refused a bid to buy at a higher rate than the average cost of a house in the lively Portuguese city of Tianjin.

"I would have accepted some 13 or 14,000 yuan (2,000 dollars) per square meter but 30,000 are just too much for an investment of at least ten years where you do not even know how Things will end in the end, "he said.

"It's crazy – they always plant crops here! And if the Old Xi goes down and never builds anything here?"

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