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The date for the site's opening has not yet been announced (Flickr: Richard Masoner / Cyclecious)

China to open bomb site to tourists

17th October 2012

According to the country's state media, China plans to open the site where it detonated its first atomic bomb to visitors

The region's government is investing 6 million yuan (£595,000/$960,000) on turning Malan Base in Xinjiang into a Red Tourism site, with the assistance of the Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Located in north-west China, the Malan Base was the testing site for the country's first atomic bomb detonation on 16 October 1964. More than 40 nuclear tests are thought to have been carried out in the years preceding the moratorium of 1996, when the government suspended its nuclear weapons programme.

Visitors to the site will have access to the 300-metre tunnel used for the air strikes, the scientist's laboratories and their dormitories.

This unique tourist attraction will join other Red Tourism spots in China such as Tiananmen Square and Yan'an, a remote city in Shaanxi province where Mao Zedong's Red Army was based in 1935. These sites are considered to be of great historical significance in terms of the rise of Chinese Communism.

Malan Base is being promoted as a place of importance during a time of international uncertainty. The success of the Malan Base is being viewed by some as tenuous due to its remote location. However, with the number of visitors to Red Tourism sites on the rise, it is not hard to see the potential success in such an unusual site.

The opening date has not yet been announced.

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