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YANTAI, June 10 -- Incheon, a port city in the Republic of Korea (ROK), plans to restore its century-old China Town, which was destroyed during the Korean War (1950-53), and to build it into a tourism attraction by inviting investment from China, according to Hong-Sub Kim, head of the Chung-Gu district government of Incheon.

Local officials of the ROK city came up with the idea after the opening of the new international airport of Incheon and amid rapid development of Sino-ROK trade relations, the Korean official said in an interview with Xinhua.

For this purpose, the Chung-Gu district government has joined some 1,000 local and overseas exhibitors that are attending the Second APEC Investment Mart, to set up a pavilion in the exhibition hall. The mart was inaugurated Saturday in Yantai, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province.

Kim told Xinhua that the government of China's Qing Dynasty ( 1644-1911) leased a plot in Incheon in 1884 and over 2,000 Chinese had migrated to the area and turned it into a China Town, the only one of its kind in ROK. After 1949, the government of the People's Republic of China took over all the official properties of China in the area, except some public facilities like schools.

Currently, over 300 Chinese descendants are living in the China Town, accounting for merely five percent of the local population, but the official said that more Chinese are expected to settle down in the area when its reconstruction is completed.

So far, the Chung-Gu district government has invested 4.5 billion won in the project to build the infrastructure in the China Town, while it plans to rebuild two commercial streets lined up with Chinese restaurants and shops, a large residential center, and some other facilities and scenes with Chinese characteristics, he said.

Chinese investors will enjoy favorable policies and government assistance when they purchase land and open business in the China Town, he noted.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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