March 18, 2009 / 4:42 AM / 10 years ago

Southern Chinese city to reinvent the wheel

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is planning to build the world’s highest ferris wheel in the southern city of Guangzhou to give tourism in the city a lift, state media said on Wednesday, stealing thunder from the capital Beijing.

The wheel, the highest if not the largest in the world, will be built on the sloping roof of the 450-meter Guangzhou TV tower and open before October 1, 2010, when the city, capital of the once booming province of Guangdong, hosts the 16th Asian Games.

“The ferris wheel will withstand an earthquake of up to magnitude 8, owing to its quake-resistant design,” the China Daily said. “Lightning arresters will form part of the design to make sure there is little damage during storm and lightning.”

The newspaper said the wheel would be the world’s highest, but did not specify dimensions.

Beijing is already planning a giant ferris wheel, higher than both the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer.

Standing at a height of 165 meters (541 ft), the Flyer is 30 meters (98 ft) taller than the London Eye.

More than 100 passengers were stranded for six hours on the Singapore Flyer in December after a short circuit in one of the wheel’s motor drivers.

Reporting by Nick Macfie; Editing by Jeremy Laurence

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