China’s construction boom has been one of the biggest drivers of economic growth in the past few years.
And although most of that has been original infrastructure, China also focused its attention on building replicas of world-famous tourist destinations.
Many of the original “world wonders” are considered cultural status symbols that reflected an empire’s soft power. Consequently, some analysts believe that it’s about more than just pretty tourist spots for China.
“The ancient parallels for these copycat projects suggest that they are not mere follies, but monumental assertions of China’s global primacy,” Oxford University scholar and archaeologist Jack Carlson wrote a few years back.