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London's bridge towers over Suzhou

China is well known for fake branded goods, but this picture of its very own Tower Bridge shows the country is not averse to pinching a historical monument or two.

You can find this almost identical version of London's most iconic bridge in the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu province. The reproduction in the Xiancheng district also has a cafe at the top promising "English-style coffee".

The Chinese version lacks a raising mechanism to allow boats to pass underneath and has four towers instead of the two in the original spanning the River Thames, reported the Daily Mail.

With 35 per cent of Xiancheng covered in water, according to The Guardian, its urban archipelago is connected with 56 replicas of famous bridges, including spectacular simulations of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Paris' Pont Alexandre III. On top of that, the area boasts a Dutch town, complete with windmill and Dutch-style housing.

Suzhou - often dubbed the "Venice of the East" - is not the first Chinese city to embark on urban mimicry. According to The Guardian, there is a simulation of Britain's Dorchester in Chengdu. There is also Thames Town in Shanghai, a replica of Austria's Hallstat resort in Huizhou and copycats of the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysee square in Hangzhou.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2017, with the headline 'London's bridge towers over Suzhou'. Print Edition | Subscribe