China Underground >

The Tianma Pit Hotel, The Shimao Quarry Hotel, is incredible

The hotel, Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental, 上海洲际世茂仙境酒店, Shànghǎi Zhōujì Shìmào Xiānjìng Jiǔdiàn, called also Tianma Pit Hotel, or Shimao Quarry Hotel, Songjiang, or Pit Pegasus Hotel, is built in a deep pit beside Tianma Mountain in Songjiang district of Shanghai.

After few delays, the opening of the hotel is expected to be around the end of 2018.

The British InterContinental Hotels Group will run the project as one of its flagship hotels in the country under the banner of Shimao Wonderland InterContinental. According to Shanghaiist, the group has an investment of US$555 million in the project.


Rooms are expected to be priced at a floor of US$320 per night.

Shanghai Songjiang National Scenic Area was hidden in an abandoned pit. This pit was the quarry of the Japanese invaders before the liberation, and they used the stones collected there to build bunkers.

In 2006, Shimao Group decided to make use of the natural environment in the deep pit to build a five-star hotel, integrating the entire hotel with the area.

The project has been established as early as 2006. Shimao Group spent seven years on scientific feasibility studies and geological examination to solve all the architectural problems of the underground space.


According to the design plan, the main building of this five-star hotel includes hotel lobby, conference center, guest room section, entertainment catering and logistics services.


The combination of the unique cliffs, the natural resources, the waterfalls, and the natural indoor and outdoor gardens create a unique ecological environment.


A large waterfall falls, hanging from the cliff, forming a spectacular sight in the hotel atrium.


Source: baike

Topics: songjiang hotel construction,songjiang hotel wiki,shimao quarry hotel,songjiang quarry hotel china,songjiang international hotel,mega projects,china mega projects,mega projects in China

China Underground >

Chinese police agents organizing the crossing of pedestrians in China

A mesmerizing video of Chinese police agents organizing the crossing of pedestrians in the crowded Nanjing road in Shanghai.

NOTE: The article has been corrected.

Source Youtube via reddit

old China images
China Underground >

65 rare images of old China by Maurice-Louis Branger

Maurice-Louis Branger was a French photographer born in Fontainebleau in 1874. He began to work as a photographer beginning in 1895. Around 1905 Branger created … Read more

Interview with Nate Thayer: How the Chinese recruit American journalists as spies
China Underground >

Interview with Nate Thayer: How the Chinese recruit American journalists as spies

Interview with Nate Thayer, an American freelance journalist whose journalism has focused on human rights, areas of military conflict, and narcotics trafficking.

On Sept 20, 2014, agents of the Shanghai State Security Bureau of the Ministry of State Security approached him to recruit him as a spy.

Interview by Matteo Damiani

The Chinese requested:

  • US government strategy on the billion-dollar Chinese Burmese gas pipeline
  • Spratly Islands
  • Secret talks between the US and North Korea held in Singapore in January 2015
  • Offered him cash.
  • Asked him specifically to use his “Washington government social circles” and focus on the “State Department and National Security Council” for his investigations to pass them “information not available on the Internet. We already have project managers who do that”
  • Asked him to meet them in person in Shanghai.

Why did they try to hire you and what they want from you?

Well, that was the question I wanted to know. Obviously, they didn’t say they were cover agents of the Ministry of State Security when they contacted me. What they said was they were from a political risk consulting group which is kind of a common business. I’ve been contacted by legitimate ones before, in Asia, they are called risk analysis groups and they are generally hired by companies who want to do business in a country.

They want to know what the situation is, maybe they want to know what their business partner is up to, they want to know the general economic conditions are.

Nate Thayer

What’s stood out for this, first of all, that the company was from Shanghai, in China, and they have no interesting in economic issues, almost all of the clients of these political risk analysis groups are really interested in economics, their businesses, they are trying to make money.

These questions had nothing to do with businesses, they had to do with a very hot button, political issues between the U.S. and China so that immediately struck me unusual, so I had actually made some work for legitimate political risk analysis groups based in Asia before – I spent 25 years as a foreign correspondent in Asia – so I contacted a couple of these guys and these companies and they never heard of this company and I did just normal basic due diligence, you know, googling who this ‘Shanghai Pacific & International Strategy Consulting Co’ was, and they didn’t exist. There was no footprint of their existence, so I thought “this is interesting”, immediately red flags went off it, they were very amateurish, really.

It was my first thought as a journalist ‘hey, this could be a good story, that’s looking like the Chinese are trying to recruit me as a spy’, and my second thoughts were, ‘wait because you get involved in that murky world and we got all kinds of people on all both teams and all teams who are up to no good and misinterpret stuff, so my work in Asia for 25 years primarily in wars, and countries conflict, and turmoil, I lived in Cambodia many years and I covered North Korea, Burma, and other places, so I have a lot of sources in the intelligence world, so I sent out a couple of messages to them saying ‘what’s going on here?’ and immediately the response was ‘you need to be very careful with these guys, they are not who they say they are.

So I thought ‘Well, I’d like to figure out who they are’, so that began a process of trying to do just that, to figure out who they are, and it became very clear very quickly that they were trying to recruit me as a spy, which kindly pissed me off, frankly …

Yeah, the amount of money offered was … miserable

Yes, exactly, kind of a personal insulting (laughs). I learned pretty quickly this is very common, and make no mistake about it, all sides do the same things. I’m an American, the Americans could do the same things in China, and the Chinese do it to the Americans. Every intelligence service, including Italy, they do the same thing, that’s their job. It’s not that unusual, but these guys were real amateurish.

I don’t know how this works, or I didn’t know how it works, but I know a little better now, but apparently, it’s quite common that the Chinese cast wide net, you know like fishing, so whatever they can pull in, that sometimes can be very fruitful, and useful. If they reach out to someone like me and it doesn’t work out they don’t really care. But I would say I was struck by how bold this was because this was all in writing.

Did you ever go to China during this conversation?

I have been to China many times, but I did not go to treat, that’s was the one thing I was specifically warned about very seriously by people who I consider friends who are intelligent agents. They were very concern. If you go to their turf, if you go to their territory, then you enter a world that can cause you big problems. I actually negotiated with them to meet in a neutral country, two countries were Singapore and Thailand, both of which I’m familiar with, and both of which are kind of neutral. You know, the Chinese and the Americans and all kinds of other people operate in those countries freely.

I don’t and didn’t have the resources to confirm who with these people actually work, because remember that at the end of the day all I really had was fake names and Gmail addresses. So, I contacted the intelligence sources that I know who do this for a living, focused on China, they did whatever they do and make things confirmed that these guys were agents of the Ministry of State Security Shanghai Bureau, which for some reason Shanghai Bureau is very very active in recruiting foreigners, probably because Shangai is an international city, lots of businessmen work there.

Apparently, they target foreigners regularly, and I do know they target people in Washington D.C. all the time, particularly in think tanks and academia, here in Washington D.C. Washington is an interesting city, lots of people from all over the world here up to all kinds of no good, including my president (laughs), so they target people who probably have no idea that they’re even being recruited.

Imagine if you’re a young recent college graduate in your early 20s and you get some message from somebody saying they want to pay you because you’re the, you know, the second coming of Jesus Christ, and you know you’re brilliant and you know everything, and they say they want to pay you for your work, I have no doubt and I know for a fact this is a major concern at least for U.S. intelligence that this kind of people are being targeted and they probably don’t even know they are working for the Chinese. Obviously, these guys didn’t say they were Ministry of State Security but I did have it confirmed 100% exactly who they were.

I was taken aback by how many Americans have been arrested in just the last few years, I wasn’t aware of this for spying for the Chinese or whatever derivation of spying you want to call it.

There’s been like fifty-seven Americans were in federal prisons in a hook. I follow the news pretty closely, but I didn’t realize it was that extensive.

So, it’s common and I thought ‘well, you know, it’s a kind of a good story and so I tried to string them along. I did not meet them, and I obviously didn’t take money from them, but I did keep communication with them going on for more than a year and they were very bold, they specifically asked me to steal classified information from the U.S. federal government and give it to them.

Does Chinese intelligence try to hire journalists only to gather information or also to spread misinformation abroad?

That it’s an excellent question. I don’t know, I presume they do because all spy agencies are up to all kinds of no good. It doesn’t matter what team you’re working for, so I presume that they spread this information. Their job is to provide raw intelligence to their analysts essentially and then they have other units that are getting up to things like spreading information.

I didn’t find these guys to be very sophisticated, but I’m told that they are the same people who actually have done serious damage to CIA operations in China over the last couple of years. They managed to really crack down the CIA operations. That’s my understanding, so you are not playing around here, and here in this country ever since 9/11 the U.S. has quite extraordinary surveillance powers and they arrest people all the time here and now for even tiptoeing info, what they call stealing national security secrets, so honestly one of my worries was that I was going to end up getting arrested by some idiot of the U.S. intelligence who doesn’t understand what journalists do, and that was the concern of many of my intelligence sources too. You know, some guy sitting in from a windowless room would misinterpret what I was doing and then all bets were off.

So I was very strongly recommended not to go to Shanghai which I was invited to go with these people and not to take any money. I didn’t do either but I also wanted to know who these guys were, so as a journalist I had a couple of choices, I could either meet them so that there was a human being on the other end instead of a computer, you know, email is a gate, or I could create some kind of paper trail like a bank transaction which might be able to use to trace back who their people work with but if I did either one of them, then I was getting into deep shark-infested waters.

I did contact the FBI here, the people responsible for Chinese recruitment of the American disguises to the foreign counterintelligence division of the FBI, because the CIA is not allowed to operate in the U.S., so it’s the job of the counter-intelligence bureau to the political things.

I did eat with them, they did confirm who these people were, but they said ‘yes, you are right, they are trying to recruit you’ but then they said ‘you either have to work with us and not lightning the story, and let us control through a whole operation from now forward or we can have anything to do it’ so obviously I couldn’t do that, you know, that’s not my job to work as an asset for the government, but that’s why I contacted them in the first place because the Chinese wanted me to do just that, so I wasn’t going to do that for any government and that was kind of the end of it, but it did strike me what idiots the U.S. intelligence was – it took them a year to get back in touch with me, I have very good sources and U.S. intelligence I pass this information on fully, all the email exchanges because I wanted to make sure black and white that there was a paper trail showing that was not tracking or trying to work for the Chinese intelligence. It took the FBI a year to get back in touch with it.

If I had been up to some kind of no good I could have done a lot and that it’s not very impressive on both sides. I wasn’t impressed by the Chinese spy tradecraft but I wasn’t impressed by the U.S. spy tradecraft either.

Topic: Chinese spy, Chinese spies, Chinese spies in us, Chinese spy agency, FBI Chinese spy

China Underground >

50+ Amazing Aerial Views of China

A stunning gallery of images of some of the most beautiful and notable places in China. Ancient cities, mountains, lakes, deserts, rice fields, nature, mega-infrastructures, … Read more

The curious case of mr Alfred Raquez, a Parisian fugitive on the run in the Far East
China Underground >

The curious case of Mr. Alfred Raquez, a Parisian fugitive on the run in the Far East

’Alfred Raquez’ was the pseudonym of Joseph Gervais, a bankrupt French lawyer who fled to the Far East in the late 1890s and had access … Read more

Shiseido Clé de Peau Beauté Brand muse, Amanda Seyfried, visits China
China Underground >

Shiseido Clé de Peau Beauté Brand muse, Amanda Seyfried, visits China

AW 2016 new product launch “Fearless Beauty” held in Shanghai. The SHISEIDO Group’s high-prestige brand Clé de Peau Beauté (CPB) hosted an autumn/winter 2016 global … Read more