17 Haunting Images Of China's Ghost Cities

The Chinese government is pushing forward with a massive plan to move 250 million rural townspeople to urban areas over the course of the next 12 to 15 years. In order to meet this goal, it has bulldozed large swaths of farmland and evicted millions of villagers from their homes.

But even as skyscrapers, shopping malls, and office complexes spring up overnight, most of China's brand new metropolises remain largely vacant. Colorful "For Rent" banners adorn the exteriors of apartment buildings, freshly paved boulevards go days without seeing a single vehicle, and shopkeepers doze on their counters as they wait for customers to arrive.

With over 64 million uninhabited apartments, China's ghost cities are sad, lonely places to live.

1. Apartment Buildings — Kunmíng, Yunnan Province

2. Housing Development — Zhengzhou New District, Henan Province

3. Starbucks — Zhenjiang, Jiangsu

4. Waterfront Restaurant — Zhengzhou, Henan Province

5. No Cars On the Streets — Ordos, Inner Mongolia

6. Traffic Lights, But No Traffic — Unknown

7. Dateline SBS Feature On Vacant Cities in China

8. Real Estate Advertisements — Ordos, Inner Mongolia

9. Huaxi Village, Jiangsu Province

10. Last House Standing — Hefei, Anhui Province

11. Living in a Bus — Hefei, Anhui Province

12. Clothesline — Hefei, Anhui Province

13. Little Boxes — Kashgar, Xinjiang Province

14. "Dead Mall" — New South China Mall, Dongguan, Guangzhou Province

15. Slow Business — New South China Mall, Dongguan, Guangzhou Province

16. "Fake Disneyland" — Wonderland Amusement Park, Outside Beijing

17. Sorry China, Your Customers Are At Another Castle — Wonderland Amusement Park, Outside Beijing

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Gabriel Grand

Gabe is a Politics Fellow for PolicyMic and an incoming student at Harvard University. An avid fan of The Daily Show, he enjoys puzzling over the legal and political issues of our time. Gabe prefers to examine both sides of an argument, although as a New Yorker he usually finds it easier to just side with the liberals.

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