In September, when China unveiled the world’s largest building, the New Century Global Center in Chengdu, the owner/builder of the mammoth edifice was nowhere to be found. Chengdu billionaire Deng Hong, chairman of Exhibition & Travel Group (ETG), had disappeared in March, after being arrested in a “corruption investigation.”
That investigation, one of a number of high-profile “purges” underway by the Communist regime’s new leader Xi Jinping (shown), is centered on Li Chuncheng, the former mayor of Chengdu, a city of 14 million and the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. Although he was often described as an entrepreneur, Deng Hong, like virtually all of China’s other nouveau riche Communists, owed his spectacular rise to fame and fortune to his political connections (to Li Chuncheng and others) and to the government contracts, loans, and concessions that flow from those privileged connections. “I really don’t have anything to do with my fellow businessmen,” Deng told the Washington Post in 2002. “My business depends on the government.”
The sheer size and splendor of the New Century Global Center provides some idea of the vast projects commissioned by China’s various government entities, and the huge fortunes to be made in the process. It is a veritable enclosed city the size of three Pentagons, its promoters say. The New York Daily News gives this report:
So what is inside the cavernous space? For starters, an indoor beach and massive wave pool that will be illuminated 24 hours a day by an artificial sun and bordered by a horizon projected on a 164-yard-long LED screen. Even the gentle breeze you’ll feel while riding the waterslides at the Paradise Island water park, which accommodates 6,000 visitors, is manufactured.
If water isn’t your thing, you could try ice skating at the regulation-size rink, or you could catch a film on one of the building’s 14 IMAX screens. Those who need a nap can check into one of two five-star hotels on the property, each offering 1,000 rooms.
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Photo of Xi Jinping: AP Images