From Chicago to Moscow, plans for new skyscrapers have been put on hold as countries struggle to recover from years of financial turmoil.
Yet, in China the trend is almost reversed: Emerging metropolises are rushing ahead with dozens of projects, many of which are aimed at setting new records.
The 600-meter Canton Tower, which was completed in late September, just in time for the 2010 Asian Games, is the latest in a long list of towers that have helped chart the rise of China, both in terms of its economy and influence on the world stage.
Although currently the world's second-highest structure next to Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, will not hold the title for long. By 2014, the 121-story Shanghai Tower, which is still under construction, is expected to overtake all others.
Even amid growing concerns of a real estate slump, the pace of China's skyscraper boom has been unquestionably furious.