'Chinese Disneyland' in New York to Attract $6 Billion Investment

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By Fiona Keating | December 8, 2013 12:17 AM EST

The Imperial Ancestral Temple of Beijing's Forbidden City could be recreated in New York.

Chinese entrepreneur Sherry Li and a consortium of investors have dreamt up a scheme to build a China City in New York.

Based on the principles of Feng Shui, a Chinese city comprising 1,500 acres of woods and wetlands on the fringes of the Catskill Mountains in New York state is being described as 'a Chinese version of Disneyland.'

The development would be located in the town of Thompson, about 100 miles northwest of New York City.

There would be a circle of buildings devoted to the 16 main dynasties of the Middle Kingdom, according to The Times.

Another area would celebrate the 56 nations of China. Other attractions include a sports park with demonstrations of kung fu as well as dramatisations of Chinese myths and stories.

"It will create 3,000 jobs," says Li. "We will be able to attract 15 million visitors each year."

Li says the proposed development, officially called the China City of America, would draw in an estimated $6 billion (£3.6bn).

"We can kind of view it as a Chinese concept of Disney [World] -- so it's going to have a lot of attractions for families," Li said in a report.

According to Li, the plan could bring in thousands of wealthy Chinese immigrants by giving an opportunity for them to obtain visas via a federal programme that grants visas to those investing $500,000 (£306,000) or more in the United States.

Current designs for the project include a college, 1,000 residential properties, a Chinese retail centre and even a casino.

Also in the plans are a $10m Temple of Heaven and a $20m (£12.2m) Forbidden City, as well as major buildings and areas being named after the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals and the 16 major Chinese dynasties. "Each dynasty will have its building and will have rides go with it," Li said.

However, there is already mounting opposition in the town of Thompson, which has a population of 15,000.

"We're not certain we have the infrastructure to handle all that at this point," says Tony Cellini, the Thompson town supervisor.  "I believe China City is very serious but they've got a long road ahead of them to get all their approvals."

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