Xiamen Wants to Become the Miami of China
We're not sure if we should be flattered or slightly afraid that Xiamen, a major city in China, has decided to model its future growth after our humble little town.
"Xiamen and Miami are at the same altitude, and I believe Xiamen has the potential to be a global tourist destination like Miami," Zhao Yanjing, chief of the Xiamen city planning bureau, said at an event celebrating the city's 30th anniversary as a special economic zone, according to China Daily.
The cities have some scary similarities beyond the shared latitude.
A report from a Xiamen beach party claims, "At the beerfest, public can drink any amount of beer for free" and that there will be a "beach model competition." Oh dear, open bars and models? They really have this Miami thing down.
- While Miami is located in the southeast tip of America and right across the Florida Straits from Cuba, Xiamen is located in the southeast trip of China and right across the Taiwan Strait from Tawain.
- Like Miami-Dade, Xiamen is made up of a series of mainland areas and islands.
- Xiamen also has a reputation for corruption, per Wikipedia: "In 1999, the largest corruption scandal in China's history was uncovered in Xiamen, implicating up to 200 government officials. Lai Changxing is alleged to have run an enormous smuggling operation, which financed the city's football team, film studios, largest construction project, and a vast brothel rented to him by the local Public Security Bureau." Corruption involving football, smuggling, and hookers? Sounds pretty damn Miami.
- Xiamen has long-lasting, hot, and humid summers with short and mild winters. Just like us! It hasn't seen snow since the 1800s.
- Both cities have famous beaches that attract tourists.
- Both cities have become art hubs of sorts, except Xiamen is a huge base for artists pumping out cheap oil paintings.
- According to China Daily, "The city will further merge with nearby Zhangzhou and Quanzhou," or as we will now refer to as Chinese Fort Lauderdale and Chinese Palm Beach.
Of course, Xiamen might not want to follow Miami's plans too closely, lest it wants to end up with a downtown full of empty condos and crippling unemployment. But if it succeeds in making itself a better, stronger version of Miami, well, we better watch out.