Theme parks all around the world are considered a symbol of fun and joy – but that doesn’t seem to be the case with China’s latest tourist attraction.
To celebrate the anniversary of the Red Army’s takeover of the country, the Chinese government has unveiled a Communist party theme park for children in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei province. The 300,000-square-meter attraction was inaugurated just in time for the Golden Week holiday, which marks the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1, 1949.
Unlike other theme parks – where visitors encounter fictional and fairytale characters, battle flesh-eating zombies and embark on gut wrenching roller coaster rides – cartoon statues commemorating important figures from communist party’s history will greet people visiting Wuhan theme park.
Sound fun… not.
“Using lively, populist art, the park shows the roles models and history of the party, exerting a subtle influence on the public and providing them with a ‘red benefit’,” reads a local government website. Red benefits actually denote red tourism, which has made a comeback under Chinese President Xi Jinpin’s government.
Instead of Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan, the communist theme park reportedly displays statues of 35 “model communists” including Red Army veteran Liu Huaqing, an early party leader called Cai Hesen, and Li Siguang, a geologist and a senior party member.
Apart from plenty of exhibits about the glorious history of the CCP – including bushes carved into the shape of the Communist party’s “socialist core values” – contemporary figures, like famous astronauts and athletes, also take prominent positions in the park.
Although a large number of people will probably enjoy the park that honors their history and the origin of revolution, many people aren’t happy about it.
The news sparked an outrage on Chinese social media website Weibo, where the online community not only scorned and ridiculed the idea of a communist theme park, they deemed it an attempt at brainwashing.
While one social media called it “a waste of good land,” another wrote, “They don’t believe in it themselves and yet they want the public to believe it.”
“It should be called the brainwashing theme park,” complained a third.
Moreover, authorities are planning to build five theme parks in tribute to Xi’s 85 million-member party, the local government website says – something which did not settle well the sharp-tongued social media users.
“These kind of brainwashing projects are a complete waste of taxpayers’ money,” complained one angry Weibo user, while other wrote, “I won’t be visiting.”
Well, if a Disneyland resort actually opens in China, it might have some fierce competition on its hands.