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Porcelain Pagoda to be rebuilt

Yangtse Evening Post, November 9, 2010

Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, a real estate giant, will donate 1 billion RMB for the reconstruction of Grand Bao'en Temple (大报恩寺) in Nanjing.

Wang, who ranked 13th on the Forbes list of China's richest individuals earlier this year, will make a lump sum donation in December, to the China Charity Federation, which will then turn it over to the Nanjing government in three separate installments.

The temple was the site of the famous Porcelain Pagoda, a nine-storey structure that stood 97 meters tall. Built in the Ming Dynasty, it was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion. In 2008, a skull fragment believed to be a sacred relic of Sakyamuni was unearthed during temple excavations.

As substantial as Wang's donation is, it will not cover the entire cost of reconstruction, the Yangtse Evening Post reports, without giving a precise figure.

When the project was first proposed in 2001, the budget was projected to be 600 million RMB. By 2007, that number had grown to 1 billion, including between 400 and 500 million for demolition alone. It is probably quite a bit higher than that today.

Wang's donation brings his personal charitable giving for the past 22 years to 2.7 billion RMB.

The paper's top headline is another feel-good real estate story: a developer in Nanjing has given refunds of 2,000 RMB per square meter to existing homeowners after prices dropped on new homes in the development.

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Real estate developers are good! They work hand in hand with the CCP for a harmonious China of the 21st century!!

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