China’s Ministry of Transport today announced that the construction of a 200-kilometer railway tunnel connecting mainland China with Taiwan is set to be completed within the next few weeks. The „Great Tunnel of China” will link the coastal city of Fuzhou with Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, and will become the world’s longest transportation tunnel by a considerable margin.
An official surnamed Dàdòng told a nonplussed press corps that „the tunnel will further enhance harmonious the relations between the Mainland and our Taiwan compatriots.” When asked how China had managed to keep the gargantuan project a secret, Dàdòng simply said that „the workers lived underground, and we dumped the excavated rubble into the sea.”
The ministry announced that it had taken only two years of intense excavation to complete this awesome feat of engineering and that the project has also been completed ahead of schedule. The project, overseen by the Central Tunneling Administration, has been undertaken in utmost secrecy in order to „avoid a fuss,” an official said. Regarding working conditions, the administration reassured the press that tunneling under ground for two years was „not that dissimilar to living in Beijing”.
When quizzed on the legality of the project, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters that the Central Tunneling Administration had applied for planning-permission to the relevant organs in a „normal” way, according to law. Suggestions from journalists that this was China attempting to strong-arm reunification efforts were brushed off as „totally false.” Jiang added that „China strongly opposes the practice of interfering in others internal affairs under the pretext of the so-called ‘tunnel issue'”.
With Taipei expected to take a dim view of this most recent development in the cross-straight diplomatic process, China are rumored to be mulling the possibility to making another tunnel to pursue reunification under the policy of „One country, two tunnels”.
At present, the world’s longest transportation tunnel is Japan’s Seikan Railway Tunnel, measuring 53.8km, but this project has more than tripled that. A tunnel connecting the two countries was originally proposed in 2005 as part of China’s massive National Expressway Plan.
Text source: Xinhua, China Daily, Global Times