China launches sea-skimming Fujian railway, eyes future Taiwan link

China Fujian
CRH2A bullet trains in Xiamen station (Tyg728/CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED)

China has opened a 277km-long, high-speed coastal railway that saves land space by crossing ocean bays in the province of Fujian near the Taiwan Strait, Xinhua reports.

The first train left the city of Fuzhou yesterday morning, travelling at speeds up to 350km/h.

The line cuts the journey time from Fuzhou to Xiamen from three hours to less than one.

The plan required the construction of bridges across Meizhou Bay, Quanzhou Bay, and Anhai Bay.

The line was planned by China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group. China presently has 42,000km of high-speed railway, with 3,200km carrying trains that can run at the maximum speed of 350km/h.

China recently announced a plan to turn Fujian into a zone for integrated development with nearby Taiwan. Reuters reports that China is hoping the link will enhance investment opportunities and make travel easier.

A Chinese government official added that it would be “technically possible” to construct a high-speed transport link between Fujian and Taiwan. This would require the construction of the world’s longest undersea tunnel.

In response, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council noted that infrastructure projects could not be “unilaterally decided”, and even China’s Belt and Road investments needed to be discussed with host countries.

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