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China's richest village completes controversial skyscraper (2)

(Xinhua)

15:14, September 09, 2011

"Huaxi is rich enough to make some investments in the tourism industry," he wrote. "Any new move is likely to incur criticism. But Huaxi, already a tourism brand, has no unique scenic sites. If it didn't make any changes, it would lose the halo of 'richest village.'"

With steel, textiles and tourism as its pillar industries, Huaxi was the first Chinese village to generate 10 billion yuan in gross domestic product in 2003. Boasting a population of about 1,500, it receives more than 2 million domestic and international visitors annually.

Wu Renbao, Huaxi's Party chief, justified the project by explaining the height of the skyscraper in a highly political way.

"Beijing built a new 328-meter tall tower for the World Trade Center," he said. "Huaxi wants to maintain the same height with the Central Committee of the Communist Party."

He noted that, in the name of the building, Zengdi literally means "increasing land."

"Huaxi covers a meager plot of 0.96 square kilometers," he said.

"Since the building was completed, Huaxi people have an additional 196,971 meters to use," he said.

When discussing the investment, Wu said that, considering inflation, the cost would be 5 billion yuan if the building was built today.

"But it just cost 3 billion yuan. That is equal to an increment of nearly 2 billion," he said.

The gold used to make the ox has also appreciated by 30 percent and the building can provide job opportunities for 3,000 people, Wu said.

The building will be renamed the Longxi International Hotel in the future.

"The building was built by people from Huaxi with their own abilities. It proves that we can pool together our forces to accomplish major tasks," Wu said.

"Services provided by the building may be limited, but it can bring spiritual encouragement to our fellow villagers," he said.

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