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Disney yet to get nod for park in Shanghai
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Plans to build a Disneyland in Shanghai are yet to be approved by the central government, despite Disney and local authorities reaching a broad consensus on the theme park.

The municipal government has kept close watch on the theme park project, said Liu Zhengyi, the newly elected vice-head of Shanghai's Pudong New Area.

However, the "very important tourism project" has yet to get the nod from top authorities, and the local government does not have the authority to approve it.

The investment in the theme park could reach tens of billions of yuan, the Pudong's head Jiang Liang said on Saturday.

The official's comments were similar to what Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, said in May during a quarterly earnings report announcement that the company was waiting for a response from the Chinese government.

The Walt Disney company could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In this January, a Wall Street Journal report said the United States-based entertainment giant was working with the Shanghai government to construct a $3.5-billion ($512 million) theme park, in which Disney planned to hold a 43 percent stake.

The report said the project is estimated to be built by 2014 and will be situated on the east bank of Shanghai's Huangpu River, bordering Chuansha town of the 1,210-sq-km Pudong New Area.

Speculation of a Disneyland in Shanghai has been circulating for years and previous media reports said 10 sq km of land has been reserved for the resort.

(China Daily August 10, 2009)

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