China is more than a country. It's a different world, a land where the civilisation dates back more than 6,000 years, the source of inventions such as paper, gunpowder, the compass and printing, and home to such wonders as the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Warriors, the Imperial Palace in Beijing and Mount Lushan.
It is also a country that is becoming the next great superpower almost by the minute. The rate of modernisation is breathtaking, with cities such as Beijing and Shanghai under a canopy of cranes, their shapes changing almost daily. The Chinese are building the world's longest transoceanic bridge, from Ningbo to Shanghai, the biggest dam, at the Three Gorges, and one of the world's tallest buildings, the Shanghai World Financial Centre.
This year's big event in Beijing, the Olympic Games, showcased this extraordinary growth. Now, keen to capitalise on China's emergence as a holiday and business destination, several airlines offer increasingly cheap flights to China (Beijing and Shanghai) from the UK.
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