Friday, February 16, 2007

Flying like a Madman around Northern China

I thought I'd add some original content. I'm back in Canada now after an exhausting few weeks in China with the last leg of my journey travelling with a client criss-crossing Northern China. The one thing that is amazing is the level of construction that is going on everywhere. And we're not talking little developments.

It's quite similar to what I saw going on near in Southern China when I first started this job a few years ago - cranes everywhere, infrastructure developments anticipating future growth which meant massive highways which were near empty, and multimillion dollar if not multibillion dollar airports with few people in them. It was stunning when I first came to China 3-4 years ago - the downtown core of Shenzhen was being completely rebuilt - and not piecemeal as you might see in a "hot" city in North America, it was being done all at once.

Here are some pics from a few weeks ago. Personally I don't think the pictures do the scale of construction going on justice. These are in Tianjin, 1.5-2 hours south of Beijing. At first, my client thought that all the cranes in the distance were for a massive port. Now imagine this effect being multiplied all over the coast of China.

This last pic is also illustrative of the kind of development that seems to go on out in the country side. There's still a lot of flat country side but every so often you get this massive building in the middle of nowhere. It would be as if after driving out in the middle of Kansas after seeing miles and miles of farmland and then without warning you have this huge commercial building. One wonders how they deal with things like electricity and water or even more importantly sewage...

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