In pictures: Historic Chinese town resists eviction for 'heritage' theme park

Chikan was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2007 due to its 19th- and early 20th-century houses, which feature a unique mix of European and Chinese architecture, clock towers and intricate stone wall carvings. Last year, municipal authorities announced a $900-million deal with investment firm Citic Private Equity Funds to convert Chikan into a tourist attraction.
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A view of the rooftop gazebo at the site of the old Situ family temple, which was seized during the Cultural Revolution and given to other villagers, is seen at Chikan village in Kaiping. Several dozen inhabitants of a historic section of the town of Chikan in southern China are stubbornly holding out against government pressure to sell their properties to make way for a 'heritage' theme park.
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Buildings and empty streets are seen in Chikan village in Kaiping. Chikan was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2007 due to its 19th- and early 20th-century houses, which feature a unique mix of European and Chinese architecture, clock towers and intricate stone wall carvings.
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A woman cycles on a street in Chikan village in Kaiping. A year ago, customers queued round the block for Wu Ying's red bean and coconut ice puddings, but now the 60-year-old has to vault a barricade to reach her dessert shop.
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An umbrella-toting pedestrian walks down a street on a hot day in Chikan village in Kaiping. Wu is one of several dozen inhabitants of a historic section of the town of Chikan in southern China who are stubbornly holding out against government pressure to sell their properties to make way for a "heritage" theme park.
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An elderly man holding a portable radio listens to traditional Chinese songs as he sits on a chair along a street in Chikan village in Kaiping. Its historic buildings will become hotels, bars, restaurants, trinket shops and cafes for visitors who pay an entrance fee.
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A woman opens the door to an old government building in Chikan village in Kaiping. Chen Jiewan, deputy mayor of Kaiping city where Chikan is located, said the project aims to "protect Chikan's cultural relics" and draw tourist spending, urging everyone to "work overtime" toward a targeted trial opening next year.
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A banner that reads '98 percent of people have signed contracts in a pleasing way, 2 percent of peoples houses have been forced-collected according to law, its the trend of the time and coinciding with the popular will' is seen on a building in Chikan village in Kaiping.
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Vegetation grows on a street in front of sealed off buildings in Chikan village in Kaiping. Nearly 4,000 households received government notices urging them to move out immediately, with most of them accepting compensation offers.
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A small park is seen in Chikan village in Kaiping.
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An interior view shows pillars and the rooftop to an old temple in Chikan village in Kaiping.
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Authorities have barricaded some streets, and red banners on padlocked storefronts exhort villagers not to "stand in the way of progress" is seen in Chikan village in Kaiping.
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A library is seen in Chikan village in Kaiping.