Das Chinatown

<p>The planning process has taken a little longer than expected for a Chinese investor looking to create Germany's first Chinatown.</p>
March 22, 2008, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The city council in the town of Oranienburg has just approved a plan for the construction of Germany's first Chinatown at the decommissioned airport, an almost 80-hectare (198-acre) site."

"Mr. Ren, the Chinese investor, and Mr. Kunigam, the German engineer, hope to transform the old airport next to a motorway into a Little China. According to their plans, within a few years 2,000 Chinese will be living and working here, in 7-story or in 13-story pagodas."

"He points to the highway -- where two trucks are jockeying into position -- which will be hidden by a replica of the Great Wall of China, five meters (16 feet) high, to protect the city to the west, north and south. The wall will be wide enough so that people can walk on it, just as they do in China."

"They fold up the blueprint again. It took almost three years, but now that the city officials have finally approved the plan, it can become a reality. They have been given the go-ahead to purchase the property. The next step is to put together a 'project-specific development plan.'"

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Published on Friday, March 14, 2008 in Der Spiegel
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