By Sharon Kwok.
Government officials in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province, have spent 4 billion yuan on constructing a new headquarters that is now the second largest individual architecture in the world.
According to media reports, the “Long Ao building” has a floor area of 370,000 square metres, with more than 40 elevators and 45,000 telephone sockets. The length of all corridors added together is over a kilometre.
Magnificent as it appears, netizens have criticised Jinan for its inappropriate “Pentagon” budget, which could have fed thousands of homeless people. They pointed out that the city has only spent 180 million yuan on improving people’s livelihoods in poor counties and villages since 2003, a tiny sum compared to the 4 billion cost of the building.
A Jinan Official responded that the cost was a total exaggeration. The alleged 4 billion investment actually included costs of the demolition and moving of the old site, land consolidation and other processes. Similarly, the massive floor area included two adjoining buildings. He also claimed the money came from replacing old properties in the city, and “not a cent of government money was used” in constructing the building.
Update #1: Though Chinese media reports all refer to the Long Ao building as the ‘second largest in the world’, this appears to be untrue, it’s not even close to second largest (h/t: Jeremy).