The ghost town of Ordos Kangbashi in northern China is a sad story and also a lesson of how everything does not happen as per the will of the Govt, even if it is the Chinese govt.
In early 2000s’, the govt poured some $1 billion to build this new city and it boasts of some of the best architectural wonders in the country. Yet, only one-tenth of the estimated population now lives there, giving it an abandoned and ghost-like feel. And the eerie feeling is all the more pronounced as it is built in the middle of a desert. From the top, it looks like a development in the middle of nowhere.
The Chinese Govt has split Kangbashi into two areas and the area which is least occupied is not even included in the “city” definition and has thus proclaimed to the world that Kangbashi is fully occupied now. Not surprised about this at all!
Interestingly, there is a fundamental difference between how China and the rest f the world define and utilize the term "city." In China, "city" is more of an administrative term which is used to indicate that an expanse of land is under the auspices of a particular level of urban government. Under this construct, much of the land that falls under the authority of a municipality is actually urban in name only, and can often include large expanses of agricultural areas, mountains, forests, or deserts. This is how China can have "cities" the size of North Carolina. For example, Hulunbuir in Inner Mongolia is the largest municipal area in the world by size, being larger than New Zealand, but it is over 99% grasslands.