China’s Skyscrapers Become the World’s Tallest

[World News ★★★]


(P1) When it comes to building skyscrapers, China has become the world’s leading country. The Communist nation’s leaders are urging city planners to expand to the sky.  By the end of next year, every third building over 150 meters will be standing in China. The Shanghai Tower, which will be the world’ second tallest building, is scheduled to be completed soon.

(P2) Suzhou, a city of a slightly over one million people in Eastern China, will be home to the Zhongnan Centre, the third-largest building in the world. Within the next 5 years, 6 out of the world’s ten top skyscrapers will be located in China. The world’s largest building, however, will remain the 828 meters high Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

(P3) The Shanghai Tower is definitely a unique building, a skyscraper that has never been planned in such a way before. The 121-floor building has a spiral form, with 9 cylinders placed on top of each other. The huge skyscraper provides not only office space but also homes, stores and even gardens in staggering heights. It is a futuristic multi-platform city of its own.

(P4) In Shenzhen, another new urban project is under construction. City authorities are planning a gigantic skyscraper complex with platforms and connecting bridges. Cloud Citizen, as it is called, will be like a city within a city, able to generate its own power and produce its own food.

(P5) The Chinese are not only building such complex structures merely as prestige projects. A growing number of Chinese citizens are moving from the countryside to the cities. By 2030, 70% of China’s 1.4 billion people will be living in urban areas. Authorities say they must plan cities the right way in order to control growth and avoid the creation of slums and shantytowns.

WORDS: 292


VOCABULARY: skyscrapers, urging, spiral, cylinders, staggering, futuristic, urban, gigantic, prestige, slums, shantytowns


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Have you ever been in a skyscraper? If so, where? If no, do you want to go inside one?
  3. Do you have a fear of heights? Why or why not?
  4. Do you prefer living in the countryside or city? Why?
  5. In your opinion, is it possible to build skyscrapers higher than the ones already built today? Why or why not?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES: What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Expand to the sky (P1)
  • Within the next 5 years (P2)
  • 6 out of the world’s ten (P2)
  • multi-platform (P3)
  • Under construction (P4)

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Image source: by Alex Needham

One thought on “China’s Skyscrapers Become the World’s Tallest

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