Lasting legacy

Updated: 2011-12-30 08:51

By Andrew Moody (China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Lasting legacy

Lasting legacy


Big ticket, new-age projects to help China establish a permanent footprint on global center stage

Do countries need large-scale projects to announce their arrival on the world stage as a major economic force?

China is currently investing billions on major infrastructure development, groundbreaking architectural projects and in science and technology in such futuristic fields as space exploration, supercomputers and robotics.

The world's second-largest economy is not the first to make such bold statements.

Even the Greeks when building the Parthenon in the 5th century BC wanted to create something that would be a lasting legacy of their society.

Related readings:

Lasting legacy A speedy course to regional development
Amajor problem in China's present transportation sector is the lack of major roads connecting two or more cities that can meet the needs of regional economic development.

Lasting legacy Supercomputers making our future
When the Tianhe-1 supercomputer was ranked No 1 in the world last year, it suddenly and greatly raised the profile of supercomputing in China.

Lasting legacy Getting ready for challenges of space
China, after Russia and the United States, became the third member in the elite group of those with such a capability in manned space exploration.

Lasting legacy A message from robots: it's our turn
An upsurge of workers who are replaced by robots is now a hot topic in the Pearl River Delta region, with Foxconn being one of the most prominent examples.

Lasting legacy The bridges that hold nations together
This year the number of large cross-sea bridges has surpassed 30 worldwide.

Lasting legacy Comac gaining ground on aircraft
Areal-sized demo mock-up of C919 trunkliner's forward fuselage was unveiled on the 49th Paris Air Show on June 20.

Lasting legacy The promise of tunnel vision
Wuhan, like many other cities in China, has a view of the future that is to some extent tunnel-visioned.

Lasting legacy Unlocking the secrets of the sea
China's first independently designed manned deep-sea submersible Jiaolong conducted five diving expeditions across three sea trials in the Eastern Pacific.

Lasting legacy Like a breath of fresh air
China has made remarkable contribution to world architecture with its own original creations

Lasting legacy The high-rise future is here now
The project's total construction area is about 3 million square meters and the cost is 30 billion yuan ($4.7 billion, 3.6 billion euros)

The British celebrated their success as the world's predominant industrial and economic power by building a Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in 1851 to exhibit the country's industrial achievements.

The Americans announced their emerging economic power by the construction of vast skyscrapers such as the 102-story Empire State Building, which after being completed in 1931 was the world's tallest building for 40 years.

Their achievements did not just stop there. The pinnacle was arguably the most impressive scientific achievement of all time, the landing of a man on the moon in July 1969.

Some argue that China's recent investment in major projects has been excessive and has led to heavy local government debt.

China's National Audit Office reported in June that local government debt had reached $1.7 trillion (1.3 trillion euros), some 27 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

But one of the major questions is whether big projects are just a country showing off its new status in the world or an inevitable by-product and consequence of just being a strong economic force in the world.

Martin Jacques, the British academic and journalist and author of When China Rules the World, which argues that China would become the dominant power in the 21st century, believes all emerging societies like to put themselves on the map with big projects.

"I think most seriously rising societies have at some point had big projects. I think it goes with the territory and is not just reducible to some prestige or reputational purpose."

In this issue, we look at 10 of China's great projects of the early 21st century and assess their value and whether they are symbols of the former Middle Kingdom's new world status.

These include the world's longest sea bridge, spanning some 36 kilometers across the mouth of the Jiaozhou Bay in eastern Shandong province and which would easily cross the English Channel, and also the 606-meter skyscraper in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, which when completed will be the third-tallest building in the world.

We also feature the over-1,000 km 350 km/h high-speed railway from Wuhan to Guangzhou, which reduced the traveling time between the two cities from 11 to just three hours.

It will eventually form part of a 2,100 km link between Beijing and the capital of Guangdong province.

Another major project is the 1,800 seating capacity Guangzhou Opera House designed by the British architect Zaha Hadid at a cost of 1.38 billion yuan ($218 million, 168 million euros).

We also highlight developments in China subway systems, focusing on Wuhan, where the first line has been built but others - which will be among the most advanced in the world - are currently under construction.

   Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page