For about two decades straight, day-and-night, 24/7, China has been the world’s construction ground, with architectural marvels and giant infrastructure springing up at a swift rate and on an enormous scale. The Beijing Olympics set some ungodly tight deadlines on a few of these projects, but with sheer drive, massive manpower, capital investment, and the directive planning power of the state, nearly all of these mega projects have been completed in a matter of years — unheard of anywhere else in the world.
The world may know about pieces like the Bird’s Nest, the Qinghai-Tibet railroad, and the Three Gorges Dam, but here are some others that have been delivered around China in the past 5 years.
1. Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3, biggest building in the world:
Here’s a pretty good discovery channel documentary on its construction process, and alludes to some of the land issues we encounter in a fast-developing China.
2. Yangshan deep water port and East China Sea bridge (stage 1 completed)
More here (thanks to Glyx).
3. Hangzhou Bay sea bridge, longest sea bridge in the world
4. Suzhou-Nantong Yangtze River bridge, longest cable-stayed main span in the world
5. Beijing-Tianjing inter-city rail, fastest rail speed in the world
6. Shanghai maglev, to be extended to Hangzhou
7. Shanghai World Financial Center, tallest building in the world by roof height (before Dubai completes its)
8. Beijing National Theater (The Egg)
9. CCTV tower (structure completed)
Not too shabby. For a light dig, I’ll even submit that while certain countries and their protesting industry were busy figuring out how to embarrass China ever since Beijing won the Olympics bid, China seems to have been too busy to pay attention. 😉
To leave off this post, this site has descriptions of some other mega-projects. Among the ongoing and planned ones that will be completed in the next decade or so are the Beijing-Shanghai high speed rail, the Caofeidian port, the Lingang city (with a huge circular artificial lake), Changxing Island shipyard. Of course, there are still an unimaginable number of other projects going on, rapidly expanding cities, highways, bridges, tunnels, dams, nuclear reactors, airports, diverting water from the south to the north, etc… makes one dizzy just thinking about it.