Giant on the move
from The Great Debate (Commentary):
If you want to gauge the current state of China's construction boom, look no further than Hong Kong's dynamic neighbour, Shenzhen. Defying the searing heat of the Chinese summer, construction workers are busily building a state-of-the-art stadium for the 2011 World University Games.
I was there last week on a five-day tour organized by Guangdong Province, and the stadium was the first stop, indicating how intensely proud officials are about the "Lotus Flower" stadium.
The 60,000-seat venue looks strikingly similar to the Bird's Nest national stadium, the world's largest steel structure and the centerpiece at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Now, local media boast that the Shenzhen stadium, designed by a German architectural firm, aims to outshine the Bird's Nest because the engineering is said to be even more challenging.
The whole games village project is a powerful symbol of municipal pride. It is set to cost a whopping 4.1 billion yuan ($600 million), all of which will be financed by the city government of Shenzhen.