Planning for an arch began in 1992 as part of a regeneration scheme by Liverpool City Council for the Chinatown area, designs for the arch were chosen by the local Chinese community through a competition. Initial construction began in October 1999 with the arrival of 20 specially selected craftmen from Liverpool's twin city of Shanghai. The craftsmen included stonemasons, stone carvers, painters and construction engineers.Along with the Chinese workers, block components manufactured by The Shanghai Linyi Garden Company Ltd where also shipped from China to Liverpool in five large containers with 2,000 pieces. Overall design was co-ordinated through the architectural practice of Wilkinson Hindle Hallsall and Lloyd with Liverpool City Council providing engineering design and supervision of the infrastructure and structural frame to the arch. Work finished in a relatively short time period of 90 days. This was due to the Chinese workers not traditionally celebrating Christmas and Boxing Day meaning that they could carry on working. Building of the arch finished in 2000 and was officially opened on Chinese New Year at a final cost of £ 700,000.