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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 10:00 GMT
China plans world's tallest tower
By Louisa Lim
BBC correspondent in Beijing

Construction work on China's new National Theatre, Beijing (March 2004)
Chinese cities are becoming a playground for Western architects
The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has announced plans to build the world's tallest tower.

Work on the tower, which will measure 580-600 metres (1,914-1,980 feet) above ground, is expected to begin soon.

It comes as China undergoes something of an architectural revolution, although some plans have been dogged by controversy and financial cutbacks.

If national pride is measured by tall buildings, then China is placing itself firmly in the running.

The Guangzhou TV tower will surpass the current record holder - the CN Tower in Toronto. It will be taller, too, than New York's new World Trade Centre, which will measure up at 541 metres to its spire.

Three foreign firms are competing for the project. It is just one of a number of ambitious designs to stud the skyline, as Chinese cities remodel themselves for the future.

But there has been opposition over the fact that the highest-profile projects have been awarded to foreign architects, and in Beijing, several big venues for the Olympics have been scaled back to save money.

But still, the sheer amount of construction under way in China today means it is becoming something of a playground for the world's top architects.

Graphic comparing the world's tallest freestanding structures

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