Village in the Sky: China’s Richest Village Now has its Own Skyscraper

Rising up from the flat plains around it like an enormous, triple-hulled rocket and topped with what can only be described as a giant gold golf ball, Huaxi’s 1,076 ft-tall “New Village in the Sky” officially opened on October 8, making Huaxi, about an hour’s drive from Shanghai, the only rural village in the world with its own skyscraper.

But then Huaxi is no ordinary village — it is an extraordinary example of China’s schizophrenic blend of communism and capitalism: a centrally-planned utopia where collectivism has made everyone not just equal, but rich as well.

The village’s 4.5 billion dollars of assets and investments, which include a one-ton solid-gold water buffalo and two shiny new helicopters, are publicly-owned and each year, one-fifth of the village’s post-tax profits are shared out in an annual bonus.

The “richest village in China” emerged in the 1980’s as a symbol of China’s rural economic growth. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)

A statue of Mao Zedong stands in front of an illuminated pagoda-shape building in Huaxi. (Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press)

Laborers work at the Huaxi No. 2 steel and iron construction material company in Huaxi. The village’s phenomenal success followed its move from agriculture to industry. (Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press)

Officials attend the inauguration ceremony of the new skyscraper tower of Huaxi village on October 8. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

A man arrives at the inauguration ceremony, attended by hundreds of invited guests and villagers. (Carlos Barria /Reuters)

A boy takes pictures of the new skyscraper tower. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Construction workers attend the inauguration ceremony. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

The new skyscraper tower screams for attention over the village’s otherwise flat skyline. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

A solid gold bull weighing a ton also greets visitors at a viewing area on the 60th-floor of the tower, a testament to the wealth of the village. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

The new skyscraper towers over the village. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

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