If the mountain won’t move for Muhammad, then Muhammad will flatten the mountain
If by “Muhammad” you mean China
A long, long time ago, a 90-year-old Chinese peasant named Yu Gong decided to move two inconveniently located mountains away from the entrance to his home. Legend has it he struggled terribly, but ultimately succeeded. Hence the Chinese idiom “Yu Gong moves the mountains.” When there’s a will, there’s a way.
Now Chinese developers are putting old Yu to shame.
In what is being billed as the largest “mountain-moving project” in Chinese history, one of China‘s biggest construction firms will spend £2.2bn to flatten 700 mountains around Lanzhou, allowing development authorities to build a new metropolis on the northwestern city’s far-flung outskirts.
The Lanzhou New Area, 500 square miles (130,000 hectares) of land 50 miles from the city, which is the provincial capital of arid Gansu province, could increase the area’s gross domestic product to £27bn by 2030, reported the state-run China Daily. It has already attracted almost £7bn of corporate investment.
The project will be China’s fifth “state-level development zone” and the first in the country’s rapidly developing interior, according to state media reports. Others include Shanghai’s Pudong and Tianjin’s Binhai, home to a half-built, 120-building replica of Manhattan. China’s state council, its highest administrative authority, approved the Lanzhou project in August.
The first stage of the mountain-flattening initiative, which was first reported on Tuesday by the China Economic Weekly magazine, began in late October and will eventually enable a new urban district almost 10 square miles in size to be built.
700 mountains? That’s some serious commitment to development.