Need a Green Card? Build ‘Little Peking’ in the Catskills

• Announcement of 600-acre “China City of America” has critics of EB-5 projects shaking heads

By John Friend

A controversial investment project is currently scheduled to become a reality in Sullivan County, New York, a beautiful rural area roughly 100 miles northwest of New York City near the southern end of the Catskill Mountain range.

The project is called China City of America (CCOA) and will be funded largely by private Chinese investors and the Chinese government. The project calls for “multi-use commercial, residential, business, education, amusement and entertainment components,” according to a recent press release from Sherry Li, the CEO of CCOA.

The Draft Scoping Document prepared by the town of Thompson, N.Y., which is located in Sullivan County, describes the project as being implemented in three separate phases and consuming roughly 600 acres of traditionally Yankee territory. CCOA “will involve construction of a college and associated dormitory units and cultural/recreational facilities.”

There will be four college classroom buildings, four college student activity centers, one conference center, six community center units, nine performance centers, one sports center, one library and museum, a park, six playground and child care units, 24 recreational facilities units, an inn of 100 units for college visitors and student parents, 96 faculty housing units and 36 dormitory buildings including 2,056 units.

Additionally, CCOA is proposing to develop 35 single family dwellings of 10,000+ square feet each as college benefactor housing.


In the past, David North, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, has criticized these types of programs, called “EB-5 projects,” and more recently wrote a report critical of the CCOA project. EB-5 is a visa program that helps foreign nationals obtain green cards in exchange for investing money in the United States that ostensibly helps create jobs in poverty-stricken American communities.

Mr. North described the CCOA as “a perfect storm of policy problems,” and went on to argue, “We as a nation should not sell a set of visas to an investor for any price.  If we sell, we should do so for a public benefit—as is done in Canada—not just that of some private promoter.”

One is left to wonder: Would Red China allow, let alone facilitate, American investors and settlers to build an “American City” on Chinese territory?

“Currently we sell a set of visas for the investor’s entire immediate family for $500,000,” Mr. North explained to this reporter. “In short, we are selling an invitation to live in this country for peanuts to aliens who, apparently, have no other way of becoming immigrants; they evidently have no skills, no family connections, no claims to refugee status.”

John’s audio interview with David North

Local residents of Sullivan County have voiced their concerns about and opposition to the proposed and now scheduled CCOA as well. Michele Eckerson and Michael Phillips, writing in the Shawangunk Journal, are concerned with the “overstated positive economic impact on our local community, destruction of our environment and natural habitat of animal life, increased traffic and pollution,” according to their opinion piece.

It is becoming more and more clear that the ruling elite controlling the financial and political establishment in the U.S. is willingly giving up American sovereignty, and selling out the American people in the process.

As of this writing, the CCOA is in the stages of being implemented; however, an outcry from the American public may terminate this project—and rightly so.

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John Friend is a writer who lives in California.