The Chinese city of Wuhan has just opened a kiddies’ theme park with a difference. Instead of the likes of attractions themed on Disneyland or exhilarating rides, exhibits at Wuhan’s park glorify the country’s communist heyday.
There is a collection of 30 cartoon effigies of leading Communist Party figures complete with potted biographies detailing their greatest achievements. The other main highlights are interactive communist experience zones for youngsters and displays illustrating the history of communism in China.
Prior to the official opening ceremonies last week, Wuhan Council posted up a press release on its website. The statement explained the exhibits at the 300,000-meter² park in the city’s Hongshan Precinct used thought-provoking art to depict the achievements of the party since its foundation.
The park opened just in time to mark the founding of the People’s Republic of China back in October 1949. The 300 people who attended the opening ceremony were enthusiastic enough over Wuhan’s new tourism draw, but Chinese netizens were less so and were mostly derogatory.
Weibo is the Chinese equivalent of Facebook and posters took to it to criticise the Wuhan communist theme park. A common theme of the posts was that Wuhan had squandered taxpayers’ money. Others likened it to a brainwash park.
Hongshan is close to the banks of the Yangtze River and another netizen described the space the park took up as a waste of prime real estate. The park is part of the move back to Red Tourism which the country has undergone since current president Xi Jinping took over the reins of power in 2012 and promised to restore socialist values.