Cash and Communism Collide in China’s Model Village


June 29, 2021

A Party secretary made a village rich, but despotism, unchecked power and poor management left the village with heavy debts.

Tourists photos of a bull statue made of gold inside a 328-meter tower that houses a five-star hotel, aquarium and presidential suites in the village of Huaxi. Photo: AFP / Noel Celis

A Party secretary of Huaxi village changed his farmers into millionaires while staying close to China’s collectivist ideals. This was a gilded gift for Communist propaganda.

Now Huaxi’s success story has deteriorated and has been sunk by the harmful influence of nepotism and political patronage. Experts say that in a country where power comes from the Communist Party, this may provide broader lessons for the trap of “capitalism with Chinese characteristics”.

Village chief Wu Renbao changed Huaxi from a rural backward village into a wealthy collective, with China’s economic reforms for over 40 years.

However, some videos in February this year showed that as hard times fell on this village, residents lined up in front of ATMs, frantically trying to withdraw their savings. Local media reported that the run on the bank was due to the fact that dividends dropped from 30% of the conglomerate’s profits to only 0.5%, and village debt soared to 38.9 billion yuan (US$6 billion).

An analyst from Germany said that Huaxi’s story was “an ugly tale of authoritarianism”.

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Edited by:【Himalaya London Club UK】