1. Catching up
The process of closing the space between standards. In the scene, it is about the differences (or space) between countries. The number of tall buildings in China is increasing and will soon be a world standard like New York. Think of catching up as if you are in a running race. There are runners in front of you, and behind you, as you make your way to the finish line. It is useful in work situations also. For example, if Mary asked, "Bob, why are you working on Sunday?" Bob could say, "I'm catching up on my work." If you haven't been getting enough sleep lately, you could say, "I'm catching up on my sleep."
2. Nothing good comes easy
A common way to express a truth about life. Economists will say that there is no free lunch. Others will say that nothing good in life comes easy. Everything is earned one way or another whether we see it or not. There is another philosophy that believes that if things come easy then they may also leave just as easily.
3. Speaking about...
An effective way to change the direction of the conversation. This phrase can introduce new ideas or slants to the topic of discussion. It is to say, "Since we are already talking about this then I would like to point your attention to their other aspect."