A proposal made last week concerning a high-speed rail line connecting Beijing with Taipei has been deemed “technologically ready” by a NPC member at this week’s Lianghui sessions.
Zhang Zhaomin, Director of FTA of Pingtan county in Fujian province, told the media on Monday that the Beijing-Taipei Expressway is simply planned as an extension line of the current Beijing-Fuzhou Expressway, which is currently nearly complete, People’s Daily reports.
To make it across the Taiwan Strait, engineers will need to construct a 126-kilometer-long tunnel from Pingtan to Taipei. This would seem to be quite the ambitious project as Japan currently holds the world record with a 53-kilometer tunnel connecting the islands of Hongshu and Hokkaido (the Chunnel is a mere 50 kilometers long), but Zhang doesn’t appear to be that worried about it.
He revealed that officials have been carrying out feasibility studies over the past four years and believe that they have a good grasp on the project. Therefore, he deemed the rail line “technologically ready to proceed,” so now the future of the project is all up to Taiwan.
Which means it isn’t looking too promising as apparently everyone has failed to inform Taipei about the project until just now. On Monday, Taiwanese Minister of Transporation and Communication Chen Jian-yu was grilled about the plan at a regular Q&A session in Taipei, the Taipei Times reports.
“I have absolutely no information. It would be more than just a transportation issue,” Chen said. “China has yet to talk to us [about the project] through any channel of communication.”
In response, DPP legislator Lin Chun-hsien voiced his opinion that in the past Beijing has tried to bring up multiple cross-strait transportation projects and Taiwan should simply stop listening.
“They are taking advantage of us,” Lin added. “You should not even bother to waste time doing feasibility research on the project. Just ignore them next time when they bring up a similar project.”