Forget the Great Leap Forward. Forget the Cultural Revolution. Forget the Little Red Book, and the 100 million souls who perished transforming one of the world’s oldest and most entrepreneurial civilizations into a communist gulag. These ghosts of China’s Marxist past are being exorcised in in a new kind of revolution—by consumers.
Derided in Communist times, the consumer remained a forgotten figure as China’s ruling elite set out to compress two centuries of economic development into a couple of decades. But as the U.S. and European economies sputter, threatening the growth of China’s export model, China’s economy is being belatedly redirected to serve to its own people.
And what better way to mark the transition than the completion of the New Century Global Centre in Chengdu, China, a shopping center/hotel/theater/water park/office complex of such colossal proportions it could swallow three Pentagons. With the most usable floor space of any building in the world, at 19 million square feet, this behemoth structure is devoted to the pursuit, the enjoyment, the recreation, and the conspicuous consumption of the mighty Yuan.
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