Creative Solutions To Geopolitical Issues: China’s Ghost Cities And Syrian Refugees

By | November 20, 2015

The Syrian refugee crisis, in terms of where the refugees will go, has been front-page news with no easy solution!

Thinking outside of the box, could relocating Syrian refugees to China’s Ghost Cities on a temporary basis serve as a solution to the humanitarian crisis?

The relocation would last until such time when the situation in their war-torn country has been resolved and they are safe to return to their homes?

Of course this would first require that China’s government acknowledge that Ghost Cities exist, then agree to the plan and finally for the international coalition to agree to sharing in all of the costs.

And if all of those steps were somehow met, wouldn’t the idea make a certain amount of sense given that at some point the refugees would be in a position to return home to their country and culture?

This idea that has little to no chance of ever occurring came about after reading an article at titled, ‘Surveying the Ghost Cities of China‘.

In that article the status of the many cities where China had operated under the thesis that if we build it, we can force them to come, was discussed.

Unfortunately for all who were involved in the expense of creating these metropoles, mostly the Chinese government, filling these cities with people is not the way that it has ultimately worked out.

A perfect example might be the Conch Bay district in the city of Tianjin that was being built as a replica of Manhattan in New York City.

But, as we mentioned in an article last year at the Hallmark Abstract Service blog that included a video the Conch Bay project, ‘unlike Manhattan where vacancy rates are low and real estate prices high, sits virtually empty.’

So does this idea of utilizing these cities in China on a stop-gap basis make any degree of sense or is it not at all viable, could in fact never happen and should never have been thought of in the first place?

Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York. He can be reached at

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