- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 13, 2002

NANJIE, China Furious residents of a model Chinese village devoted to Maoist ideals are being evicted to make way for a business park designed to attract foreign investors.
The about-turn at Nanjie, in central China's Henan province, has appalled veteran communists but delighted modernizers who saw the village as the last outpost of Chairman Mao Tse-tung's Cultural Revolution.
For years, as the rest of China has reluctantly accommodated capitalism, the small settlement of Nanjie has defiantly kept faith with the values of the "Great Helmsman".
Early each day, beside a statue of Mao and portraits of other historical communist figures, residents gather in the main square to chant revolutionary slogans and perform martial art exercises.
Posters urge workers to "Put Mao Tse-tung thought in command of everything" and a deafening public address system regularly broadcasts rousing communist anthems.
Until now, citizens have been employed at one of the local collective factories, where workers are paid between $25 and $30 a month.
The Nanjie experiment was launched in the 1980s when Wang Hongbin, 50, the local party secretary, reversed the market reforms of the late Deng Xiaoping with the aim of creating a model commune.
Apartments come in only two sizes. Residents are bound by strict rules. The approval of a Communist Party committee is required for all marriages. A mass wedding is held once a year on New Year's Day.
After childbirth, women are sterilized. Wrongdoers are paraded through the village with their heads shaved. The village has acquired cult status among those who still pine for the certainties of the Mao era.
A new, market-inspired revolution is now in the air, however. Since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, hard times have befallen the village enterprises.
Local party officials have seized on the idea of an industrial park to woo foreign investors lured to China by its recent membership to the World Trade Organization. To make way for the development, 114 residents have been forced out of their homes, which have been earmarked for demolition.

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