Feasibility of cross-Straits tunnel discussed
By Li Dapeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-08 05:50
FUZHOU: Experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan gathered yesterday to
discuss the feasibility of building an underwater tunnel across the Taiwan
This is the fifth time that experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan held
seminars since 1998 on the project to construct the world's longest underwater
Among the three planned routes proposed in the previous discussions, the
northern route, linking Pingtan Island of East China's Fujian Province with
Hsinchu of Taiwan, is considered the best and most feasible.
Pingtan, the mainland's closest county to Taiwan, is only 124 kilometres away
from Hsinchu. The short distance will cut down the construction cost compared
with other planned routes, said Peng Funan, an expert with the Second Institute
of Oceanography of the State Bureau of Oceanic Administration.
Peng explained that this sea area, with a comparatively stable geological
structure and shallower water, is not situated in the region prone to strong
earthquakes, thus making it suitable for tunnel construction.
Moreover, the bridge between Pingtan Island and Fuqing, a suburban city of
Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, has been approved by the National Development and
Reform Commission. Meanwhile, Hsinchu is very close to Taipei.
That means the tunnel will link Fuzhou and Taipei, the political, economic
and cultural centres of the two provinces, which will greatly boost the economic
development of the Straits, said Peng.
"The cross-Straits tunnel has become more realistic from a single concept,"
said Mao Yulin, secretary-general with Mao Yisheng Technology and Education Fund
"But we need more efforts in the east bank of the Straits."
In January 2005, the Ministry of Communications announced the nation's
highway network construction plan in the next 20 years, including a highway from
Beijing to Taipei. The construction of the cross-Straits tunnel has been
formally listed in the country's communications development plan.
Taiwan expert Chiu Sou-laung told China Daily that though Taiwan authorities
thought the cross-Straits tunnel is impossible and haven't taken action yet, the
project is technologically possible.
"As the exchanges between the two sides strengthen gradually, I think the
project will get more and more attention from the Taiwan side," added Chiu.
(China Daily 11/08/2005 page2)