BEIJING (AP) — China’s government has announced plans to build a $2 billion film studio, in the latest example of a national push to expand its cultural influence.
State media reported that the studio in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing will include a theme park and tourist facilities. Construction will begin early next year and is expected to cost 15 billion yuan ($2.18 billion).
Officials say they have operating agreements already with several foreign partners. The park will be named after President xi Jinping’s signature “One Belt, One Road” program.
China is already the world’s second-largest film market and home to the world’s largest theater operator. But Chinese officials and companies have made it a priority to fend off Western imports by producing more competitive films in China.