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Barges move along the Huangpu River in Shanghai. The city's Pudong district boasts the world's only trio of supertall skyscrapers: the Jin Mao Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Shanghai Tower.

Barges move along the Huangpu River in Shanghai. The city's Pudong district boasts the world's only trio of supertall skyscrapers: the Jin Mao Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Shanghai Tower.

Chicago Architects Lead Chinese Urban Design | Chicago Tonight | WTTW

The Shanghai Tower soars above its neighbors on the Pudong skyline in Shanghai. When completed next year, the tower will officially become the world’s second-tallest building.

The tallest buildings in the world (for now) 21. Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai (1,380 feet)

The Jin Mao Tower was designed by the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and reigned for nearly a decade as China's tallest skyscraper and it's still one of its most iconic.

The Shanghai World Financial Center, from left, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai Tower soar above the rest of the Pudong skyline in Shanghai.

In turn, China has provided Chicago with an economic lifeline.

A scale model of skyscrapers to be built for the Binhai New Area development in Tianjin.

A scale model of skyscrapers to be built for the Binhai New Area development in Tianjin.

Elevated walkways above the streets of Pudong District in Shanghai attract pedestrians who enjoy gazing at the skyscrapers without having to worry about getting hit by a speeding car.

Elevated walkways above the streets of Pudong District in Shanghai attract pedestrians who enjoy gazing at the skyscrapers without having to worry about getting hit by a speeding car.

Smog fills the morning air above housing block towers in Bejing.

Smog fills the morning air above housing block towers in Bejing.

Chenal de la Perrotine, Boyardville, Oleron Island

Chenal de la Perrotine, Boyardville, Oleron Island

World's second-tallest building completed in Shanghai

Architecture firm Gensler has completed its Shanghai Tower, which is now China's tallest building and the second-tallest building in the world

Workers demolish a residential site in downtown Shanghai on September 5, 2012. (Aly Song/Reuters) #

Scenes from China

Migrant laborers work at a demolished residential site in downtown Shanghai, on September (Reuters/Aly Song)

A worker family's clothes hang out to dry from ledges of their temporary housing units near the Shanghai Tower construction site.

A worker family's clothes hang out to dry from ledges of their temporary housing units near the Shanghai Tower construction site.

Silas Chiow of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill China looks up at the curtain wall outside the Cloud 9 bar on the 87th floor of the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai.

Silas Chiow of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill China looks up at the curtain wall outside the Cloud 9 bar on the floor of the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai.

Old Shanghai style cheongsam girl

Cycling through the French Concession Area, Old town, shopping, nightlife, food & people.

Tianjin Global Financial Center, Tianjin, China. Built in 2011.

Tianjin Global Financial Center, Tianjin, China. Built in 2011.

A residential tower in the Tiantongyuan housing complex, one of the largest in Beijing.

A residential tower in the Tiantongyuan housing complex, one of the largest in Beijing.

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