Chinese project manager in Sri Lanka follows father’s TV-tower-building footsteps

by Zhu Ruiqing, Tang Lu
COLOMBO, (Xinhua) — In Cai Xiaofeng’s mobile phone, there is one picture that he treasures the most.
It is a crayon sketch of the Colombo Lotus Tower. The tower stands erect, boasting a glass curtain wall, its apex is in the shape of a blossoming red lotus.
Cai is the project manager of the Colombo Lotus Tower Project from China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC), and the picture on Cai’s phone was drawn by his eight-year-old daughter when she visited Sri Lanka to meet her father during the winter holiday.
“Sometimes I feel I owe a lot to my daughter and family, as I have been working overseas for too long. But when I heard recently my daughter telling her classmates that ‘my father is a TV tower builder’ while showing them this picture of the Lotus Tower, I felt so proud. It was all worth it,” Cai told Xinhua from his makeshift office at the project site.
Under the Belt and Road Initiative, Sri Lanka and China signed the Lotus Tower agreement in 2012 to build the highest TV tower in South Asia, with CEIEC being the general contractor.
With the construction work scheduled to finish this July, the Lotus Tower has become an iconic landmark in Colombo, which stands at the heart area of the capital and greets everyone coming to Colombo from other parts of the island country.
To make the tower a success, both Chinese and Sri Lankan workers have put in years of hard work and dedication.
Cai said, owing to the difficulties in construction and the differences in technical standards, almost all TV towers in the world were built by domestic constructors.
“There is basically no precedent of one country helping another to build a TV tower in the world. Therefore, there is nothing we can use for reference,” Cai added.
While looking back on the shared cooperation with the Sri Lankan side in constructing the Lotus Tower, Cai admitted that at first there were some setbacks due to the differences in technical standards.
“I clearly remember that at first, when we built a wall in the basement of the Tower, it took three days for the Sri Lankan supervision team to check it, which truly worried me based on the schedule. Fortunately, after many days and nights of run-ins, the Sri Lankan supervisors now only need two hours to check a wall on the top floor of the Tower,” Cai said proudly.
Extraordinary hard work can lead to extraordinary scenery. Today, the roof floor of the Lotus Tower is also the best observation deck to view the city of Colombo.
Standing on the roof floor, with birds flying around, the tower apex offers an unrivaled panorama of the beauty of Colombo, while a steady flow of vehicles on the main Gall Road and the large cargo vessels docked at the Colombo Port serve as a reminder of the bustle and hustle of Sri Lanka’s commercial capital.
After its launch, the Lotus Tower will not only function as a TV tower, but also a hotel, a shopping mall and a conference center.
Speaking about the upcoming completion of the project, Cai said, “I look forward to the completion of the project so that people can really enjoy the Tower.”
“My father was also a TV tower builder who once participated in the construction of China’s Central Radio and Television Tower in Beijing. For me, I just want to be as capable a TV tower builder as my father,” Cai said.

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