Even the most casual visitor to China will be impressed by the massiveness the architecture and the public plazas. A billion-plus people need a lot of room for their entertainment, infrastructure and business. Equally impressive is the speed at which these construction wonders have arisen. The human toll and gargantuan land grabs are equally huge.
There is an old Chinese saying: IF YOU WANT TO BE RICH, YOU MUST FIRST BUILD ROADS. In the past year China has built the world's longest sea bridge, the world's longest gas pipeline and a super high-speed railway line connecting all the major cities in China's eastern corridor. Even now the $10.7 billion Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will connect two huge regions when it is completed in 2016.
$44 BILLION: China is one of the 32 countries who sighned an agreement for the construction of connecting highways to span the continent and even reach Europe. ROAD TRIP!
$102 MILLION: The Pingtang telescope will be the world's largest radio telescope when completed in 2016.
$176 MILLION: Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory conducts China's major scientific projects and is the country's most expensive research facility.
$200 MILLION: The Guangzhou Opera House is one of the three largest theaters in China, designed by architect Zaha Hadid.
$368 MILLION: The Hainan power grid project is China's first underwater cross sea power grid and will link the southern island of Hainan to mainland China.
Hainan Island is touted as China's Hawaii. Our visit to the southern shore of Hainan Island in the dead of winter was memorably pleasant, albeit far short of our Hawaiian visits.
$473 MILLION: The Qinling Tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in China.
$717 MILLION: The Kashgar-Hotan Railway connects all the cities and towns of the southwester Tarim Basin.
This reminds me of many buildings which were so sleek and impressive on the outside, yet a walk into the past on the inside.
$760 MILLION: China Central TV Headquarters is a loop of six horizontal and vertical sections covering 1,551,837 ft.
$900 MILLION: The Tianhuangping hydroelectric project is the biggest in Asia and plays a vital role in providing power supply in eastern China.
$1.1 BILLION: The Shanghai World Financial Center Project is home to the second highest hotel in the world - the Park Hyatt Shanghai is on the 79th floor.
$1.3 BILLION: The Baltic Pearl Project is China's largest foreign development project and consists of residential and commercial properties out St. Petersburg, Russia.
$1.7 BILLION: The Nanjing Metro Line was completed in 2005 and is used by more than 180 million people a year.
$1.8 BILLION: The Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel and Bridge is the fifth longest cable-stayed bridge in the world.
$1.9 BILLION: The Chengdu Shuangliu Airport handles 35 million passengers annually.
$2.12 BILLION: The Wuhan Railway Station serves the world's fastest trains at 217 mph.
$2.2 BILLION: At 128 stories, The Shanghai Tower will be the tallest skyscraper in China and the second tallest in the when completed in 2014.
$2.2 BILLION: The Qinshan Nuclear Power Phase II will add to the Qinshan plant and have the most nuclear reactors of any site in the world.
$2.88 BILLION: The Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant is the first nuclear power station in northeastern China and will reach 45 billion kWh annually.
$3 BILLION: The Great Gabon Belinga iron ore mine is China's largest African mining operation.
$3.3 BILLION: The Tianjin offshore drilling rig is China's national base for offshore oil development.
$3.5 BILLION: The Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal is the largest single construction project in China and the third largest building in the world.
$4.5 BILLION: Lingang New City is a planned city proposed to be completed on this distant land in 2020, to house almost 1 million people.
$6.3 BILLION: The Xiangjiaba Hydro power Project is expected to be completed by 2015 and will generate 31 billion kWh annually.
$5 BILLION: The Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev project will create the fastest inter-city train in the world at 280 mph.
$6.3 BILLION: The Beijing South Railway Station is Asia's largest railway station.
Obviously photoshopped blue sky. Living is Beijing is akin to a two-cigarette-pack smoking habit per day. Jinan is 2 1/2 packs a day.
$6.5 BILLION: China is one out of several countries that signed a contract to reconstruct the ancient SILK ROAD linking China and India with Europe.
$6.76 BILLION: Xiluodu Dam will be the third tallest dam in the world and second largest hydro-power station in the country.
$7.89 BILLION: The Su-Tong Yangtze Bridge is the world's longest cable-stayed bridge.
$8 BILLION: The Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port Project will hand the largest container ships in the world.
$8.3 BILLION: The Nigerian Railway Modernization Project is China's largest overseas project.
$10.2 BILLION: The Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station in Guangdong province will be the biggest nuclear power plant in China.
$10.2 BILLION: The Guangdong Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station will be China's newest power plant when completed this year.
$12 BILLION: The Hainan Wenchang Space Center launch project will be the country's newest launch center.
$14 BILLION: The Harbin-Dalian High-Speed Railway will serve the first high speed train in northeast China.
We visited the spectacular snow & ice festival in Harbin in January when it was 40-degrees below zero. High-speed trains running in that weather is impressive, indeed.
$16 BILLION: Hangzhou Bay Bridge is the world's longest cross-sea bridge project.
$18.2 BILLION: The Jiuquan Wind Farm will be the largest wind power base in the world when completed this year. Wind is plentiful in the Gobi Desert.
$23.1 BILLION: The Kunming New International Airport is China's 4th largest aviation hub. Those ribbons of dancing concrete are awe-inspiring to behold. I tried in vain to capture their massive beauty with my camera.
$33 BILLION: The Beijing Shanghai High Speed Railway is the wold's longest high-speed rail project.
$45.4 BILLION: The Ningzia Ningdong Energy and Chemical Industrial Base will double the provence's GDP and generate $30.3 billion after the planned 2020 completion.
$62 BILLION: The South-to-North Water Diversion Project is expected to divert 44.8 billion cubic meters of water to the North by 2050. That assumes the rivers won't run dry like unto our mighty Colorado River. High in the northwest mountains snowmelt is affecting water resources and we were told that the Chinese government is building five reservoirs in five mountains to capture and control the water.
$306.7 BILLION: The "Turn the Pearl River Delta Into One" will result in an urban mega-city bigger than Wales.
$458 BILLION: The Tianjin Harbor Industrial Zone is one of the largest chemical ports in the world.
Other great Chinese infrastructures worth mentioning:
$2.6 BILLION: China's construction of the Libyan coastal railway project.
$4.5 BILLION: Guangzhou Nansha Lair shipbuilding base project.
$5 BILLION: Niger oil project
$5.4 BILLION: Changzing Shipbuilding Base, world's largest shipbuilding base
$7 BILLION: Algerian East-West Highway Project
$10.7 BILLION: Baosteel million-ton steel base project in Zhanjiang East Island.
$11.7 BILLION: Rural Market Project
$20 BILLION: Portland Oilfield Sinopec investment
$26.8 BILLION: Tianjin ethylene project
$38 BILLION: Zhangzhou and Fuzhou-Xiamen railway projects
$77.5 BILLION: Super market projects
$77.5 BILLION: Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Project
$237 BILLION: State Environmental Protection 11th 5-year Plan ...surrrre.
$800 BILLION: Zhejiang Sanmen Nuclear Power Project
$900 BILLION: Northern Energy and Chemical Base Project
ONE TRILLION: Tianjin Binhai New Area Investment
....a new world coming