They must be a global superplayer; after all, they’ll soon have the world’s biggest airport.
A new airport being built by the Chinese government in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be the world’s biggest and be “truly awesome”, according to its British architect, Lord Foster.
In further evidence of the Chinese obsession with building bigger, faster and higher than any other country, the plans for Beijing Airport will outdo both the current biggest, Hong Kong’s, and Heathrow, which is set to double in size when Terminal 5 is finished.
It will also take less than three years to complete, Lord Foster said. That compares with Terminal 5, which was put before a public inquiry in 1995 and approved in 2001 but which is not expected to open until 2008.
In this case I have to give some credit to the CCP, which has trimmed down the grandiose project a bit because, “They have been keen to present a more modest image in recent months, reducing the scale of plans for the Olympic stadia and saying they wish to focus more on poverty reduction.”
“Saying.” I certainly hope it’s true, but one can’t avoid the fact that they’re now committed to building the world’s tallest skyscraper, the world’s largest dam, the world’s longest bridge and the world’s biggest airport. I just wish they’d announce they were launching the world’s most ambitious distribute-the-wealth project. Then they might really gain some of the international respect they so desperately crave. (And I don’t mean welfare — just paying their people for the fruit of their labor and lessening the unsustainable unconscionable division between the haves and have-nots.)
Meanwhile I’m glad to hear they’ll be doing away with the current Beijing airport, which ranks among the drabbest and shabbiest on earth., at least for a major capital city.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.