Chinese state-owned media have been going on ad nauseum lately marking the 30th anniversary of China’s market reforms. When Deng Xiaoping launched his open door policy, he undoubted had this village in mind, Huaxi, 100 miles north of Shanghai in Jiangsu Province, which is commonly known today as China’s richest village. Melissa Chan of Al Jazeera visited the village, and found people there living in huge houses complete with all the latest home appliances and cars and what have you. Life appears to be so good there we ourselves were momentarily tempted to move there.
Despite all this wealth though, village party officials recognised that the bulk of residents would still not have the chance to travel overseas, so they decided to bring the world to them by building things like the Sydney Opera House, the Arc of Triumph, Tudor-style mansions, and yes, even the Statue of Liberty (albeit one that looks very Chinese) right in their own backyards. All this seems to have paid off. Today, Huaxi welcomes 2 million visitors from around the region every year.