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Guangzhou to build world's tallest TV tower
By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-14 23:40

Construction of a television tower that is claimed to be the world's tallest TV tower is due to start in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province next month.

This landmark tower, which could be up to 600 metres high, is expected to be a new tourist attraction, competing with the 320-metre-high Eiffel Tower in Paris and the 468-metre-high Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower in Shanghai.

The Guangzhou municipal government is currently busy selecting a design from three foreign companies that have entered the final round of competition, according to Huang Jiatian, deputy director of the General Office under the Headquarters for the Construction of Guangzhou New TV Tower.

A total of 13 domestic and overseas companies have participated in the public bidding for the design of this massive project, said Huang.

The final three companies come from Germany, Britain and France.

All three designs for the new TV tower require the project to reach between 580 metres and 600 metres, becoming the world's tallest TV tower.

Located on the banks of the Pearl River in Guangzhou's Tianhe District, the new TV tower will reach a construction floor space of 100,800 square metres. And it will occupy a ground area of 84,880 square metres in Guangzhou's premier business district.

About 200 families will have to move away from the site, Huang said.

The Guangzhou municipal government has agreed to pay compensation to most people living in the area and relocation work have already started.

More than 1.5 billion yuan (US$180 million) is estimated to be needed for the project.

The local government is expecting the new TV tower will become a symbol of the city.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris attracts more than 17,000 tourists a day during the peak season. It has attracted more than 185 million tourists since it was built in 1889.

And the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower, built 10 years ago, has also become a major landmark and tourist attraction in the eastern Chinese metropolis. The tower is now the highest TV tower in Asia and the third in the world.

The new Guangzhou TV Tower will include sky gardens, bars and other tourist facilities. It will also be decorated with myriad of colourful lights and become an illuminated tower at night.

The project is expected to be completed and open to tourists between August and September in 2007.

The old Guangzhou TV Tower will be demolished after the new TV tower opens. And the Guangdong provincial TV station will also move into the new tower upon its completion.

But construction of the expensive project has also sparked controversy in the city.

Chen Wangqiang, from the Guangzhou Association of Architecture, thought the new TV tower is worth building.

"It will help further raise Guangzhou's standing at home and abroad and help promote the city's tourism in the years to come," Chen told China Daily Sunday.

TV towers have usually become architectural symbols and tourist attractions in many cities around the world, including Paris and Shanghai, Chen said.

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