Chinese Government Opens up Secret Nuclear Base for Tourism

I love it when government locations which were once top-secret are opened up to the public and turned into tourist sites. With the Cold War over, this has been happening more and more.

Surprisingly, China has embraced the fad as well.

Most recently the communist government opened up Factory 221. This weapons base, located underground and protected by a three-ton steel door, was home to China’s first nuclear bomb. 30,000 people worked here in absolute secrecy; the town itself, located in the Chinese province of Liaoning, never even appeared on maps.

Today, “Nuclear City” has thrown up its doors and interested tourists can now explore the bowels of this secret nuclear city. LA Times journalist Don Lee, who recently went himself, raises an interesting thought in Visiting China’s Nuclear Past: China’s Propaganda Department were the ones responsible for opening up Nuclear City. This is not for Western tourists to gawk at the Cold War secrecy, but rather “to arouse… national pride” amongst domestic tourists.

Sounds like the Cold War is still pretty hot to me.