Inside China’s ‘richest village’: The mysterious Socialist town where every resident has ‘£100K in the bank’ – but once you leave you lose everything
A 72-storey skyscraper, helicopter taxis, a theme park and rows upon rows of luxurious villas, this is as extravagant as a village could be.
Welcome to Huaxi, a place situated in east China’s Jiangsu Province and dubbed ‘the richest village’ of the country.
Every one of its 2,000 residents is said to have more than one million yuan (£116,000) in the bank; and each family is given a car, a villa by the authority once they move in.
But the catch is, once you leave, you leave lose all your belongs.
Huaxi, which claims to run under a strict Socialist system, celebrated its 55th anniversary last month.
The village is administrated by Jiangyin city in Jiangsu Province, a coastal region traditionally known for its abundant agricultural resources and beautiful landscapes.
It is a two-hour drive from China’s economic powerhouse Shanghai.
For years, Huaxi has been used by the Chinese authority as a showcase of success to prove how the Communist regime has turned a poor village into a super wealthy region in half a century.
Above the entrance to Huaxi, a huge sign that reads ‘the number one village under the sky’ is placed on the gate. This is another nickname the country has given to the village.
Huaxi’s fortune appears to be immense.
The village hit the headlines across the country in 2003 when it announced that its yearly economic volume had reached 100 billion yuan (£11.7 billion), according to Economic Strategies and Practice of Modern China.
One year later, Huaxi announced that the average annual salary of its residents was 122,600 yuan (£14,319) – about 40 times the average income of a farmer in China.