Anytime someone mentions China, thoughts of booming commerce and tons of people come to mind; busy streets full of people. After all there are 1.3 billion people living there. That’s what makes this place even more extraordinary when you think about it.
Out of all the phantoms however, nothing compares to the strangeness of China's ghost Cities. That's what the locals call it. the city of Beihai, Ordos (Inner Mongolia), Shenmu (in Shaanxi), Jing jin city are the leading ones.The city of Beihai aka City of the Dead which can be found in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and it is now an urban landscape that is completely deserted.
More than 100 villas stand empty after they were built nine years ago for locals in the Chinese city of Beihai, in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
With migrant workers in China living in makeshift shacks and native college graduates needing affordable apartments, you wouldn’t think China could afford to have large swaths of unoccupied land.Also read : All the 7 wonders are Available in China
"Unlike in the US, where cities often begin as small developments and grow in accordance to the local industries, these new Chinese cities are built to the point of near completion before introducing people," says Photographer Kai Caemmerer.
China is often cited as having used within just three years the amount of concrete the US did in the entire 20th century.
They were built to cater to a new rising class of wealthy people who, it was hoped, would invest in real estate and snap up the properties, many of which are priced at over three million yuan ($453,137).
You should remember the fact that Chinese citizens cannot invest their money overseas,therefore a lot of people have invested in real estate as a safety net for their wealth. This is not an uncommon thing in China.
In a bid to cater to those wanting to invest in property, entire cities have been built complete with skyscrapers, shopping malls, highways and parks. But they are often devoid of residents and turn into soulless 'dead zones' due to their distance from important economic centres.
in such "new" cities - Ordos in Inner Mongolia and Shenmu in Shaanxi for example - infrastructure and economic opportunities fall behind the pace of property development, making it difficult to attract residents.Also read : Chinese Style Eye Cleaning Using Knife
Same is the case with JinJing city, which is about an hour's drive from Beijing - home to no less than 3,000 villas, a five-star hotel, hot springs resort, golf course, museum, temple, two colleges, entertainment facilities and a large undeveloped lot. All that's missing, it seems, are the people.
In Shenfu, local planners spent $16m building a 60-storey steel structure called the "Circle of Life". It was meant to attract tourists, but so far, no one has come.
Some of the people who have invested in these properties are workers who don’t make much money at all, upwards of $2 per day. These people also saved their money from up to three generations to make this giant purchase for these properties, but can’t afford the commute. meaning they are left with no residents at all.
Because these properties have been sitting uninhabited for the last six years, they are starting to fall apart and will need maintenance eventually which will end up being costly. Some have said that this modernization of China is, “the greatest urbanization story the world has ever seen.” These same people believe that these now vacant areas will become thriving metropolitan areas.Also read : Village Where Girls Turn Into Boys without Surgical Assistance
Compared with thriving districts in China's great cities, these lifeless urban areas had no established industries, and people were unwilling to move there given the lack of job opportunities and poor infrastructure.
The waterfront properties were the most expensive villas available. Some of these have been purchased, but the owners can’t afford to live there. This has inevitably placed them in a scary situation, just hoping that the investment pays off in the near future.
The Chinese construction industry employed hundreds of thousands of workers, but at the same time, these construction sites have forced citizens off their land in order to make room for these abandoned cities.