Chinese Village Hopes for a Disney Windfall

From Wall Street Journal:

For residents of one of the villages slated to be razed for the construction of a Walt Disney Co. theme park here, a visit by city officials on Aug. 3 raised hopes that a long-anticipated windfall for using their land was finally in sight.

But some of Zhaohang village’s 4,000 people weren’t included in what residents said was enrollment in an insurance and annuity program. Fearing they would be left out of an opportunity for compensation, more than 100 villagers launched two days of protests that culminated with the death on Aug. 5, apparently by a stroke, of a woman who had led them.

The response raised the prospect of more tension if construction of the theme park gets the green light from Beijing.

Negotiations between Disney and the municipal government to build a theme park in Shanghai have dragged on for more than a decade, enough time for Disney to build, operate and eventually agree to expand a park in nearby Hong Kong. A Shanghai park was officially proposed this year in a feasibility report to China’s central government, according to people familiar with the situation.

August 24, 2009 2:22 AM
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Categories: Economy