Image of roof deck in Shanghai's tallest building.

Having the tallest building in the world represents economic and industrial prowess. Despite arguments on the waste and inefficiency these monolith structures create, the battle between nations for the tallest building in the world will continue. At least for now. And East Asia is winning.

Infographic of the 10 Tallest Buildings of the World, most of which are in East Asia.

People argue about the classification, of course. Whether antennas at the top qualify as height. Many skyscrapers are in construction and scheduled to be completed in the next ten or twenty years. However, the infographic  above features the ten tallest buildings in the world currently standing. Well… at least standing in 2011.

(Again the rankings will differ based upon classification standards.)

Nevertheless after peering over the list above, is it not interesting that seven of the ten tallest in the world are in East Asia? And the majority of those seven in China?

Personally, I don’t find it to be some kind of coincidence. Despite what many Westerners may feel, East Asia is becoming the center of the world today. It holds the largest populations, some of the most profitable economies and many of the most talented people. And they’re only continuing to grow. The skyscrapers should only reflect that.

When you consider all the red-tape (think permits and licenses and zoning) one must go through in the US to start even a dinky business, it is no wonder that China can construct gigantic buildings from scratch in a fraction of the time (as long as it’s government approved.) 

Is this a good thing — the strong arm of the CPC to push along projects that in the US that could take a decade? Probably not.

But is there something we can learn from some of these Asian power-economies with colossal buildings? Probably.

Third tallest building in the world in Shanghai.

And I’ll tell you firsthand. I have been to the Shanghai World Financial Center (ranked #3). As you can see pictured above, it is tall. And even more breathtaking. But most importantly a sure sign that China, heck all of East Asia, is catching up.

Image Credits:

– World Financial Center (inside) – Flickr

– Infographic – Rianovosti

– World Financial Center (outside) – Flickr