PEKING — Work has started on China's first horse race track to be constructed after 1949, a 7,000-seat state-run park named after the 11th-century Mongolian conqueror Kublai Khan, the official news agency Xinhua reported.
"It will be commercial and recreational and not for gambling," the agency quoted the track's manager, Zheng Fengrong, a former record-holding woman high-jumper, as saying.
The government outlaws gambling and recently cracked down on fund-raising lotteries because of what it called their corrupting influence and disturbing semblance to pre-Communist Shanghai's gambling racetracks.
Xinhua said the new 3,300-foot racetrack on a 24.7-acre tract will open this fall, featuring horse races and polo games, horse and camel rides and riding clubs.
Known as the Kublai Khan Equestrian Park, it will cost about $1.5 million to build and will be jointly run by the China Sports Service Company, the Sports Service Company of Inner Mongolia and a rural commune near Peking, the agency said.