In the eighth century BCE, Xichuan was the seat of a powerful regional kingdom, the Chu, but today it is one of China’s poorest areas, and there is nothing grand about its dilapidated downtown and abandoned factories.
Factories lie abandoned in Xichuan. Xichuan Mayor Pei Jianjun says that 238 factories in the area, many of them brick or paper factories, have been shut down.
A view of Xichuan. Hundreds of local mines were also ordered to close by the central government, an accountant from Zhengzhou said, to prevent pollution from leaching into water bound for Beijing.