Tuesday, Jun. 22, 2010

China's White Houses

Beijing may not always have a rosy relationship with Washington, but Chinese architects have gone crazy for the city — particularly its iconic symbols of power. Full-scale replicas of the U.S. Capitol building have been constructed in recent years in the nondescript midsize cities of Wuxi and Fuyang, while in Hangzhou, real estate tycoon Huang Qiaoling has constructed a mirror image of the White House, complete with his own Oval Office and portrait gallery of American Presidents, as well as miniature versions of the Washington Monument and Mount Rushmore. Huang's bizarre estate is now a tourist destination — in 2002, then President George W. Bush paid a visit.