China's "Ghost Capitol Building" Has Been Overrun By Vagrant Food Vendors

Tyler Durden's picture

An impressive replica of the US Capitol Building has stood dormant in the city of Wuhan for several years now, similar to some extent to the original in Washington in its effectiveness. Originally intended to be used as a luxury hotel, construction halted after financing for the building dried up, and now, perhaps portending the future of American politics, China's Capitol Building has become a makeshift home to wandering food vendors in the area.


An impressive replica of the US Capitol Building has stood dormant in the city of Wuhan for several years now, becoming a makeshift home to wandering food vendors in the area.


The building features five floors and is configured in a U-shape, remaining faithful to many of the design elements of the original, namely the domed roof and Romanesque columns.

Originally intended to be used as a luxury hotel, construction halted after financing for the building dried up. It has now spent the past few years falling into a state of disrepair.


The building has not gone to waste, however, with vagrant food vendors now taking residence inside the edifice and local residents using the courtyard to grow vegetables.

Read more here..

*  *  *

Perhaps Washington should take up some of these more productive uses of their own Capitol?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
CrimsonAvenger's picture

There are already plenty of vegetables in the US capitol.

Stackers's picture

I'm thinking of starting a demolition company in China ...... the next boom

NoDebt's picture

That'll make for a great movie set when they implode that thing someday.

Pliskin's picture

Even better 'Movie set' if it was the real thing!



With everybody still inside.

Money Counterfeiter's picture
Money Counterfeiter (not verified) Pliskin Nov 3, 2015 9:53 AM

I never realized the Chinese admired Detroit.  You learn something new everyday.

pods's picture

Is there anything they won't copy?

Poundsand's picture

Copy our stupid moves in MENA?

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Or maybe bring in 10 million blacks'n'browns . . . to pick their rice.

Never One Roach's picture

I'd rather have vegetable vendors in DC right now as opposed to the destructive and/or apathetic people there now.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

I was looking at the rust coming through the concrete in a few of the places.  The poor quality construction/materials should allow the iron to rot away along with anything it was helping to support.  What a waste.  It will make a very good set for another Planet of the Apes movie.

robertocarlos's picture

They should have used marble.

r3ct1f13r's picture

I'm sure the correct answer mathematically, has to be  paradoxical.

That was Funny.

Bunghole's picture

Better wait for commodities prices to return.

Scrap steel, aluminum and copper are in the crapper.

MoHillbilly's picture
MoHillbilly (not verified) Stackers Nov 3, 2015 9:44 AM

Will the Chinese buy the scrap from their own buildings to build new buildings?  PERPETUAL GROWTH!!!

Shad_ow's picture

They could break the windows and replace them, rinse and repeat.

robertsgt40's picture

At least the Chinese had sense enough to stop putting money in their "building".

Antifaschistische's picture

it's painful to watch.   Even in good neighborhoods, i do the 9:30PM walk around these new home high rises in China.  10-20% have lights on.  I know this isn't scientific, but when I ask the locals...THEY say, "all the others are empty".   You can't maintain a high rise with 15% occupancy.  Eventually the maintenance costs will overwhelm the current occupants.  At this point, perhaps just giving the places away MAY fill these buildings...but I doubt it.  There's too many.

Demolition company may actually be a great options.  So sad.  billions of man hours wasted.

roddy6667's picture

According to the same research by Standard Chartered, typical occupancy rates for a new district in China during the initial phase (first five years of a development) are under 20 percent. They then increase to around 50 percent in the rapid growth phase(six to 10 years) and then to between 70 and 80 percent in the mature phase (11 to 15 years).

China is not America. Things work differently. 10-20% occupancy is normal and expected. With a low occupancy rate, maintenance cost are small. No, they will not be overwhelmed. Trash, elevators, cleaning, are much smaller when there few people to wear out things and make a mess. The unoccupied units are shell. That's how new homes are sold in China. There are no appliances, fixtures, fllooring, wall coverings, etc to break or wear out. Heat is provide by a city heating plant. There are no individual furnaces. A/c units are typically the last an owner puts in.There are no property taxes for the owner of unsold units to pay. If somebody bought one for speculation, he needn't pay much for carrying charges. Millions and millions of people buy a home for their son when gets married about age 30. This is often done decades in advance.

This is how almost EVERY large construction project in China has gone. Stand Chartered would know.

nosam's picture
nosam (not verified) roddy6667 Nov 3, 2015 10:20 AM

If you assume that the same pattern will continue indefinitely. then  fine. But at some point the music stops and those left standing will be in bad shape.

Antifaschistische's picture

bingo....those stats are based on history.   today's construction explosion in China has no historic context...and it is phenomenal development.

Angry Plant's picture

Yes and that model is baed upon a 10% anual growth rate. Being that China is no longer growing at that rate the model is now useless.

China's infrastrucure boom is all based upon the economy being larger when the time comes to pay the debt used to build the infrastructure. China grew at ten percent per year lartgely  because china was building things needed to enable that growth. Now that the economy no longer is growing at ten percent you end up with empty ghost cities and factorys and mines that have no market for there products. But the debt used to finance that malinvestment is still coming due.

Never One Roach's picture

Location, location, location ... even in China. Those apartments in or near the CBD in Beijing, Shanghai, etc sell like hot cakes my friend tells me. He finally saved enough to buy a tiny apartment within what he calls The Fourth Loop. He said smaller cities further inland are dropping in price since demand for them has dwindled and there are too-many-to-count empty spec apartment buildings in those areas, similar to what was said above.


However, with the new two-child policy things may change. Plus, if the government there changes policy to attract capital instead of chasing it out of the country, this RE thingy there could turn pretty fast, he said. He said everyone he knows with some money wants to send their kids out because of things like pollution, corruption, few job opportunities, etc.


I read China is considering a property tax in various cities but I do not know if they passed that yet since that would further slow their growth.

MEFOBILLS's picture

China is not America. Things work differently


People like to project what they know, and have a hard time understanding something when it is outside of their mental paradigm.

China's money system works differently than in the U.S.  They have state banks, which act something like the U.S. Treasury did in the old days before FED takeover.

State Banks then inject State Bank Credit where they think it is needed.  Housing was a good way to inject and have money as demand before goods were produced.  

In other words, by spending into infrastructure, they pre-loaded their money supply with Yuans.  This allows more Yuans relative to dollars and hence also helps with exchange rates.  Low exchange rates in turn allows western industry to relocate to China, which in turn means rapid industrialization.

Rapid industrialization i.e. China becoming the workshop for the world, means peasants moving from farm.  

Where are the 100's of millions of peasants going to live?  In the pre-built cities.

Buying up U.S. Treasuries is another way to keep Yuan exchange rate low.

Chinese are NOT stupid.  They spent their communist years watching the west.  They know who screwed them over in Opium Wars.  

The mistake China are now making is NOT TAXING PROPERTY RENTS.  

This has allowed a portion of their real estate markets to boom unnaturally in a bubble, similar to what happened in U.S.  This is private credit driven bubble.

During the first phase after liberalization, property was transferred from Communist hands and a fee was charged.  Effectively this fee kept land from being bidded up in price.  But, now property is being re-sold,  and is in a second or third buy/sell cycle, which is causing unwanted price bubbling in certain markets.

All of the pictures show solid concrete structures ready to be finished as needed when population surges in from countryside.

By the way, America and the West spent the same way during WW2.  Only instead of leaving behind almost  finished cities, they left behind destroyed war material and bomb craters.

 Was America hugely in debt to bankers after WW2? How about Civil War?

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

What are your thoughts on the capital flows between Cathay and "the West", in terms of dynamism,

velocity, and future trends.  And the dichotomy between private and public flows.

Dr. Bonzo's picture

China is not America. Things work differently. 10-20% occupancy is normal and expected

LMFAO. Do you make this shit up as you go along or do you do a few good hard bong hits first? For the last 200 years China has been in a cultural upheaval that has left most of the population destitute. Who's leaving what to whom when how? As recent as 1980s I had a boatload of Chinese grad students studying with me, commie cadre kiddies ALLLLL mind you, and basically all of them were living hand to mouth. The commie party was sponsoring their US studies. China was fucking BROKE and has been BROKE for nearly the entire 19th and 20th century. It's not until the 1980s the commies figured out, hey... the US is printing fiat... we can print fiat too!

The laws of physics still apply in China. Empty buildings that are not maintained will turn to shit FAST. In fact, that shit will probably deteriorate faster since it was built according to those exceeeeedingly rigorous standards. Pffffffff.....

"China is different." LMFAO............

MEFOBILLS's picture

The laws of physics still apply in China. Empty buildings that are not maintained will turn to shit FAST.


They are concrete construction, not wood.  Get a grip.

Even exposed re-bar takes a long time to rust.  Slap some rust paint on it and fix the reaction rate.  A few Yuans.

The cost of maintenance would be a crew that cruises around to make sure roofs stay in good shape.  Trimming shrubbery and trees would be another cost to keep plants from invading.

Here is a link to world without humans, "If humans were to disappear."

Buildings can crumble from natural stresses.  Buildings that are made from concrete last a very long time.  Buildings that are made from Metamorphic rock, last practically forever - tens of thousands of years.  The roof is the most important part, to then keep plants and root stresses from breaking down the rock.

Laws of physics do apply

pachanguero's picture

I live in Asia, have done business in Asia,S. America and the Middle East.

My guess is you have never even set foot in Asia.  Read Jim Chanos's stuff. 

The Chinese are so fucked it's not even funny. I'm here in Thailand watching them blow up their property market.  I live in a condo of "shells" that cannot be sold.  A view of the ocean that would make your head spin for $340 a month.  Five grand a month in Miami Fl.  Nice.  Guess what....NO BUYERS.  

Six years old and no fucking buyers. Nice girls, hot Russian chicks but NO FUCKING buyers.

STFU about shit you do not understand.



MEFOBILLS's picture

No shit they are blowing up their property market.  That has nothing to do with ghost cities that are created with a different channel of money, and were state planned.  

Chinese citizens are also borrowing new credit and pumping up their stock market, the same mistake U.S. made in the 20's. which led directly to great depression.


The private property market bubble has the same dynamics as the West:


Here is Hudson, speaking to the Chinese as a guest lecturer.  They have made him a professor at Peking's university, their most prestigous.  Do you think maybe the Chinese are listening?  I think so.

He is telling them directly to tax natural land rent to then supress the prices, and prevent property being too high priced.


China has spent the last half-century solving Marx’s “Volume I” problem: the relations between labor and its employers, recycling the economic surplus into new means of production to provide more output, higher living standards, and most obviously, more infrastructure (roads, railways, airlines) and housing.

But right now, it is experiencing financial problems from credit creation going into the stock market instead of into tangible capital formation and rising consumption standards. And of course, China has experienced a large real estate boom. Land prices are rising in China, much as they are in the West.

What would Marx have said about this? I think that he would have warned China not to relapse into the pre-capitalist problems of finance funding real estate – turning the rising land rent into interest – and into permitting housing prices to rise without taxing them away.

Money Counterfeiter's picture
Money Counterfeiter (not verified) Antifaschistische Nov 3, 2015 10:05 AM

There is a solution.  Liquidation.  Sell the properties to the highest bidder and let markets figure out the details.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

And write down a wee bit of bad debt?  NOOOOOO!

A Nanny Moose's picture

Get in bed with Hollyweird on this. Sell them the rights to On-Location Demo effects. Use Detroit as a pilot.

NoDebt's picture

The stench of the rotting vegetables isn't as bad nor can it spread as far as the stench that comes out of Washington, DC and spreads across our country.


SSRI Junkie's picture

"There are already plenty of vegetables in the US capitol."


and fruits

Never One Roach's picture

" Barney Franks could not be reached for comment before this article went to press. "

glenlloyd's picture

They're not Romanesque columns, they're Greek order columns / capitals. I can see ionic and corinthian.

Bunghole's picture

Quit being an architectual doric

A Nanny Moose's picture

What is the infatuation with domes in Capitols?

Noplebian's picture
Noplebian (not verified) CrimsonAvenger Nov 3, 2015 11:29 AM

They will soon be turned into spare organs for the wealthy when the time comes!


Mr.Sono's picture

its like looking into the future

Bunga Bunga's picture

Yes, they all will be growing their own food one day too.

JuliaS's picture

Politicians make the best compost.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

"similar to some extent to the original in Washington in its effectiveness."

lol  :]

venturen's picture this one...there is someone trying to make an honest living. Not one person in the US capital is trying to make an honest living.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

Some cheeky Politburo member needs to have a Brawndotm water type tower erected near the vegetable patch.

Dr. Engali's picture

Vagrant food vendors are a better use of space than the batch of parasites occupying Washington.

Dr. Engali's picture

I don't think this is what China wanted when they adopted the "build it and they will come" mentality. 

orangegeek's picture

funny - Washington's capitol buildings have been overrun by communists - how ironic

taketheredpill's picture



Veggie gardens sounds like a win.  They have enough land and more than enough fertilizer.


Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

The land may very well been wrested from them prior to construction.

stant's picture

Farmers market would be better than a lobbyist market