Current Affairs

China opens world’s longest sea bridge

China inaugurated Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, world's longest sea bridge with a total length of 55 km.
China opens world’s longest sea bridge
  • The new sea bridge will connect the east and west sides of Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea, connecting two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau with Zhuhai i.e. mainland China.

About the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge:

  • It includes dual three-lane, oversea stretch (22.9 km) and undersea tunnel (6.7 km) which reaches a depth of 44 m.
  • The rest 25.4 km of the bridge runs over land.
  • The two ends of tunnel of bridge are connected to two artificial islands, each a million sq ft, constructed in shallow areas of Pearl River Estuary to allow transit between bridge and tunnel sections.
  • The 6.7 km undersea tunnel is made of chain of 33 submerged hollow blocks, each 38 m wide, 11.4 m high and weighing 80,000 tonnes.
  • The bridge contains 400,000 tonnes of steel. 
  • It is designed to withstand magnitude-8 earthquake and strikes by super-sized cargo ships.
  • The project was initially conceived in 2003, and construction began on December 2009. 
  • Its total cost was 120 billion yuan ($17.3 billion).
  • This has been shared in different proportions by Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai governments. 
  • It is estimated that 29,000 vehicles would cross the bridge every day.

What is the significance of this bridge?

  • China considers this mega structure as a key component of its plans to develop the Greater Bay Area.
  • This area will be a business hub comprising Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities of Guangdong province (mainland China).
  • This bay area is being developed with an aim to rival New York (US) and Tokyo (Japan) in terms of technological innovation and economic success.
  • This bridge will play a vital role in facilitating creation of a single market.
  • The bridge will put three cities within an hour's commute of each other and is expected to boost economic development.
  • It will cut the travel time from Hong Kong International Airport to Zhuhai from 4 hours to 45 minutes.
  • It will also bring down trip between Kwai Chung Container Port (Hong Kong) and Zhuhai to 1 hour and 15 minutes from existing 3½ hours.

About the Criticisms:

  • This bridge is considered as another move of China to assert more control over Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions.
  • Both provinces are former European colonies (Hong Kong was under British control and Macau was under Portuguese control), handed back to China in late 1990 and are run under "one country, two systems" principle, which allows them to retain their economic and democratic systems of government (multi-party system) independent of China for 50 years.
  • Concerns of affecting ecology of the area especially to White Chinese Dolphin have also been raised. 
  • Safety concerns of the bridge have also been raised after reports that artificial islands have drifted.

Question:

Q. What is the name of world's longest sea bridge that China has inaugurated which has a total length of 55 km?
a. Hong Kong-Beijing-Macau Bridge
b. Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge
c. Hong Kong-Shanghai-Macau Bridge
d. None of the above
China opens world’s longest sea bridge China opens world’s longest sea bridge Reviewed by Inderjeet Virdi on October 26, 2018 Rating: 5

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