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China to turn atomic bomb site into tourist attraction

China has unveiled plans to turn the site where it tested its first atomic bomb in 1964 into a tourist attraction.
Chinese tourists 2012 10 16Enlarge
Tourists pose for a photo in front of a portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square. (AFP/Getty Images)

China plans to turn the site where it tested its first atomic bomb into a tourist attraction, state media reported today.

The government will invest almost $950,000 to make the Malan Base in the remote northwestern region of Xinjiang tourist-friendly, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The BBC reported that the base would be classified as a “red tourism site” – the term given to locations designated by the Communist Party as historically significant and worthy of celebration.

Visitors would be given access to laboratories and dormitories used by scientists as well as a 300-meter long tunnel used for air strikes, according to the Indo-Asian News Service.

China tested its first atomic bomb in 1964, an event Xinhua said was “hailed as being of great historic significance at a time when the country was faced with a complex international environment.”

The Indo-Asian News Service reported that China abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 1996.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/china-turn-atomic-bomb-site-tourist-attraction