Government officials in Jinan, the capital of China’s Shandong province, certainly have an appetite for space. According to Chinese media reports , the city has spent 4 billion yuan (HK$4.92 billion) on a new office building that ranks as the world’s second-largest individual architecture by floor area.
The US Defence Department’s Pentagon is the only office building that’s bigger.
The “Long Ao building” has a floor area of 370,000 sq m. If you add up the lengths of all the corridors, you would have an exhausting one-kilometre walk. The building has more than 40 elevators and 45,000 telephone sockets, said media reports.
China’s netizens quickly pointed out on Tuesday that Jinan has spent only 180 million yuan trying to improve people’s livelihoods in poor counties and villages since 2003, a tiny number compared to its “Pentagon” budget.
“How many homeless people could have been fed with that money?” said one commenter on China’s micro-blogging service Sina Weibo.
“How did the budget get approved in the first place?” said another user.
Some other netizens claimed the report was an exaggeration.
“The building only cost 1.3 billion [yuan], not 4 billion,” said a weibo user from Shandong.
The building was first used by organisers of China’s 2009 National Sports Meet which was held in Jinan, said Caijing. The government moved in the next year after the sport competition.
The city of Jinan has made no official response as of Tuesday.