Elaborate counterfeit schemes are nothing new within the Far East – the recent discovery of a fake Apple store being a case in point – but the latest scam to be uncovered has amazed many owing to its sheer audacity – an entirely fake China has been discovered slightly to the northeast of the real China.
Visitors were fooled by an elaborately constructed replica of Beijing, including an international airport, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Seven hundred million locals have been groomed into thinking they are real Chinese citizens in this incredible, replica China.
Suspicions were raised by tourists who, on being taken to the Great Wall of China, noticed it seemed to be made from breeze blocks. Another noticed that the instantly-recognisable Chinese flag, red with yellow stars, had the words ‘Chinese Flag’ woven into it.
But others praised the ingenuity of the counterfeiters’ use of modern technology – the replica of Chairman Mao in his mausoleum uses modern animatronics to sit up, wave to visitors and sing patriotic songs, although Jurgen Wittke, a tourist from Frankfurt, managed to get His Imperial Majesty to do a smokin’ lambada after sliding behind him and interfering with his motherboard.
‘Don’t fall for cheap substitutes’, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced, when informed of the scam. ‘Visit the real China. Under tightly-controlled conditions, instructions and travel restrictions, obviously. Welcome.’