Beyond the Great Wall and the chain of rugged hills through which it snakes, workers are putting the finishing touches to a colossal edifice. The beams of its roof are curved, with golden tiles reminiscent of those that adorn the Forbidden City, 70km to the south-east. The building itself curves, too, in a shape that its architects say resembles a ruyi—a traditional Chinese talisman (pictured is an artist’s impression). They say it invokes a longing for fulfilment of the “Chinese dream”. That is a cherished slogan of China’s leader, Xi Jinping, whose wish is that China should emerge as a global giant. As a state news agency puts it, the building conveys the “imposing manner of a great power”.
The China Pavilion, as the structure is called, is for an international flower festival in Yanqing, a satellite town of the capital. The show will open on April 29th and last for more than five months. It will be the biggest expo of any kind that China has staged under the aegis of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions since the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. It will be the biggest horticultural one ever held anywhere. And it will be the centrepiece of the largest political celebration in China in a decade: the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Communist state. The big day itself will be on October 1st, as the flower show enters its final week. – THE ECONOMIST