Cartoons

Western values

oldwest w

The New York Times visited a resort community this week where more than 1,000 families were living the ‘American Dream’. The surprise was its location: around 20 miles north of the Great Wall of China, and a 90-minute commute to Beijing. Welcome to Jackson Hole, or ‘Hometown America’ (as its known in Chinese). Designed to look like an American frontier town from a couple of centuries ago, it has a wooden church and streets with names like Route 66. The developer, Ju Yi International, claims that 90% of the 1,500 homes are sold (they start at $625,000 but the fanciest – which have vineyards attached – are priced as high as $8 million). Residents are drawn by the sense of community and Americana on offer. One 42 year-old homeowner told the New York Times: “America represents wilderness and freedom, and also big houses. America is cool.”

Another told the paper: “This place may not be exactly like America, but it’s definitely not like a lot of places in China. In the city, you can live in a place for years and never know the person who lives across the hall from you.” The developer said the decision to build a ‘little America’ had nothing to do with politics, only that it had already exhausted other options, namely European-themed residential complexes.

Still, the New York Times cannot lay claim to having ‘discovered’ Jackson Hole. A quick web search shows Foreign Policy profiled the place in late 2011 and The Atlantic wrote about it last year.


© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Exclusively sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.