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The city where China built its atomic bombs, dark memories haunt the ruins

The site celebrates the patriotism of thousands of scientists and labourers, but dark aspects of its history go unmentioned

Chris Buckley & Adam Wu | NYT 

Among the yak herds and Tibetan Buddhism prayer flags dotting the windswept highlands of northwestern China stand the ruins of a remote, hidden city that vanished from the maps in 1958. The decaying clusters of workshops, bunkers and dormitories are remnants of Plant 221, also known as China’s Los Alamos. Here, on a mountain-high grassland called Jinyintan in Qinghai Province, thousands of Tibetan and Mongolian herders were expelled to create a secret town where a nuclear arsenal was built to defend Mao Zedong’s revolution. “It was totally secret, you ...

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First Published: Sat, January 20 2018. 20:45 IST