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China plans city 'twice the size of Wales'

Cue 35,636,280 linguine of new rail lines

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It's official: the inexorable rise of China has rendered meaningless ancient units of area such as the square mile, as reporters struggle to express the extent of the country's megacities in terms the average reader can understand.

Handily for the Telegraph, it can fall back on the accepted Reg standard – the Wales – in explaining that the "Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One" grand plan will merge nine cities into an urban sprawl which will be a breathtaking "26 times larger geographically than Greater London, or twice the size of Wales".

The fusion of Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Zhaoqing, Zhongshan and Zhuhai will eventually be home to 42 million souls, who'll benefit from 29 new rail lines "totalling 3,100 miles".

This, of course, is properly expressed as 35,636,280 linguine, 541,173 double-decker buses laid bumper-to-bumper or 36,078 brontosauruses/brontosauri, give or take the odd tail. ®

Bootnote

Reader Will Oakley can award himself a foaming 0.9865 Bulgarian airbags of beer for the tip-off.

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