The quality of the light on the towers, owing to the fairly strong under-exposure lends an other worldly effect to the image, and the edge burn enhances the threatening feel of the impending rain. I like this image. I can see it being used in a corporate annual report, for example.
I don't think "natural" is necessarly an important goal in this or any photograph. Jonathan is applying his own aesthetic ideal to Xiong's image, which is fine, and perfectly valid for Jonathan. It may not be for Xiong. I agree that the corner burn may be a bit overdone, but that is easily fixed. However, I wouldn't eliminate it completely... I like the mood it creates, but I'd like to see some more detail in the upper corners.
As to copyright, every image is copyright by its creator the moment the shutter is released. There is no need for the image to be "unique". In any case it's hard to image another image taken from this vantage point and point of view being precisely the same as another image, in the quality and direction of the light and the quality of the sky. Think about how many images of the Eiffel Tower you have seen taken with a wide-angle lens looking up through the trees at the north west footing! Each of those slightly different images is copyright by its creator. So, Lim Wan Xiong definately owns a copyright in this image.