The main entrance to Minsk World
|Location||Shenzhen, Guangdong, China|
|Opened||May 10, 2000|
|Closed||February 14, 2016|
|Visitors per annum||5 million|
Minsk World (Chinese: 明思克航母世界; pinyin: Míngsīkè Hángmǔ Shìjiè) was a military theme park located in Dapeng Bay, Shatoujiao, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It includes the former Soviet (later Russian) aircraft carrier Minsk, redesigned as a tourist attraction. The theme park opened on 10 May 2000. As of 2005, it had attracted more than five million visitors and generated 450 million yuan in revenue. The park formally closed in February 2016 and the aircraft carrier was moved to Zhoushan for repairs, after which it would be moved to another theme park in Nantong, Jiangsu.
The aircraft carrier Minsk was part of the Soviet Pacific Fleet. It had to be retired as a result of a major accident which could only be repaired at Chernomorski's facility, located in the newly independent Ukraine. In 1995 it was sold to a South Korean businessman, and later resold to Shenzhen Minsk Aircraft Carrier Industry Co. Ltd., a Chinese company. Until 2006, when the company went bankrupt, Minsk was the centrepiece of a military theme park in Shatoujiao (沙头角) district, Shenzhen called Minsk World. The aircraft carrier was put up for auction on 22 March 2006. No bids at the starting price of 128 million RMB were received, so the carrier was withdrawn from sale.
On 31 May 2006, the Soviet aircraft carrier was finally auctioned off in Shenzhen for 128 million RMB to CITIC Shenzhen, which operated the carrier as the CITIC Minsk World military theme park. The ship was painted with the hull number 015, matching the Chinese Navy's first aircraft carrier Liaoning (16).
After a decline in visitor numbers, the park closed in 2016 when the local government decided to reclaim land in the area. The aircraft carrier was moved to Zhoushan for repairs, after which it will be moved to another theme park in Nantong, Jiangsu.
In addition to the island, four of the carrier's decks including the flight deck and hangar deck can be visited. Various aspects of the Minsk, such as its living quarters and armament, are set up as exhibits. The staff are dressed in mock military uniforms, while regular choreographed musical performances are held on the flight and hangar decks. It is also possible to take a quick ride around the starboard side of the Minsk via motorboat.
There are a number of military aircraft and armaments on display on the deck and on the mainland area:
- Pun, Pamela (2 March 2005). "Business as usual at sunk Minsk World". The Standard. Sing Tao Newspaper Group and Global China Group. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012.
- Gan, Nector (4 April 2016). "Aircraft carrier used as Chinese theme park sets sail for new home". South China Morning Post.
- "Former Soviet aircraft carrier sold in China for $16mln". RIA Novosti. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "Aircraft carrier Minsk arrives at China's Nantong". People's Daily Online. Xinhua. 6 May 2016.
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