No Chinese, China or English Town, Miyun County, China was a proposed English speaking town in Miyun County, Beijing, China with the intention of attracting tourists until December 2011. The site was expected to be at least 60 hectares of land situated northeast of Beijing according to Wang Haichen, county chief of Miyun County. "According to the plan, people can't talk in Chinese inside the walled-city". The original plan would have required a "tourist passport" to enter the town.
As of December 2011, the Global Times of China has reported that "... Miyun County announced on Saturday [December 17, 2011] that it quashed plans to build a 780,000-square meter English speaking only town." Furthermore, "...'[t]he project was meaningless, the investing company was probably trying to create land speculation by making the announcement,' said Chu Zhaohui".
Issues and controversy
Like Disneyland, the "English-language town" could be an interesting place, "but I don't think the town would help people improve their English. It is not an environment for learning foreign languages," Hou said.
Learning a language requires a series of social conditions, the most important of which is the exchange of feelings and ideas, Hou said, noting that the dialogue between buyers and sellers is far from adequate.
The issues with such a plan are as follows:
- An "English-only policy" would exclude much of the population who could not speak English
- Resources in the city would be drained and not benefit the local community as Chinese would not be allowed to be spoken inside the city. Ironically, English learners in the city would not benefit because they cannot learn English without using Chinese
- The plan would not be profitable as this would not be an effective way to learn English.
- It demonstrates the "worship of foreigners" and discrimination against Chinese