China and India might be buying weapons like Americans are buying discounted Nintendos, but this particular Chinese warship won't be threatening the Japanese islands anytime soon because, though it's a full-sized Nimitz-Class Aircraft carrier, it's made entirely of concrete.
Modeled after the USS Nimitz-class, the 'Binzhou Aircraft Carrier' is another example of China's overly ambitious development projects. Built into an artificial lake in Binzhou in Shandong Province, the 'ship' is 853 feet long, 183 feet wide and 101 feet high. Deck height is 39 feet and the deck floor area is a massive 107,639 square feet.
The local government wanted to give Binzhou, a city of four million a spectacular tourist attraction providing entertainment services such as cinemas, shops and restaurants, with a hotel being the crown jewel.
The project started in 2005 but ran out of money in less than a year. The unfinished hull stayed empty until 2008, when a restaurant and bar opened on the upper deck. Things were looking bright for a short period, but the businesses closed down eventually due to high costs and safety concerns about sitting on top of an unfinished concrete structure.
Still, at least some people seemed to like it.
The Binzhou City Tourism Bureau lost about $19 million on this round according to the official reports. A final attempt was made last year to auction the whole thing off, but it has failed to attract any bids. One can only wonder why.
Click here to see it on Google Maps, next to a giant communist star on the left.
Image credit: Imaginechina. Hat tip to tycho via carnewschina!