China sets out vision of tunnel link to Taiwan
Monday 08 February 1999
Forget for a moment that China has still not lifted its threat to use force should Taiwan press for independence, or that Taipei still bans almost all direct transport, mail and telephone links with the mainland, because Professor Wu is a man with a vision. He has selected four possible routes for the proposed tunnel, the shortest of which, from Pingtan Island off the southeast China coast to Xinzhu in Taiwan's north, would be 144km (90 miles) long, with an estimated cost of 1,440bn yuan (pounds 108bn).
"Building a tunnel under the Taiwan Strait has been my dream since the idea occurred to me when travelling through the Channel Tunnel at the beginning of 1996," Professor Wu told yesterday's officialChina Business Weekly.
The paper said that Professor Wu's "bold conception has found favour with scholars in the last three years". To encourage research, Qinghua, China's premier science and technology university, has set up a Taiwan Strait Tunnel Demonstration Centre with Professor Wu as the director.
Apart from the huge political and financial assumptions involved in arguing for such a venture, there are the technical considerations.
Professor Wu admitted that any tunnel would have to be built on a stable stratum "avoiding seismic belts and fault zones". He said it would take 16 years of research and feasibility studies and a further 16 years of construction.
The past 50 years has seen a political stand-off between the mainland and Taiwan, which Peking persists in viewing as a renegade province.
Professor Wu does not explain how the assumed political breakthrough will occur, or whether Taiwan will be reunified with the motherland, but forecasts that by 2030, annual passenger traffic across the Taiwan Strait will reach 261 million while freight will be 517 million tons.
Professor Wu, 58, has never visited Taiwan, but said he hoped to journey to the island through the proposed tunnel in 2030 - when he will be nearly 90.
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ferguson decision: Tea Party website mocks Michael Brown's family over T-shirt typo
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Derren Brown on the disappointment of coming out: 'It’s not that people react badly to it – they really don't care'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...