29 OCTOBER 2018
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Linking Hong Kong with Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai, the world’s longest sea bridge, a 34-mile structure across the Pearl River Delta, was officially opened last week by China’s leader Xi Jinping and local officials.
The project, which includes sections of bridge and artificial islands linked by a four-mile tunnel west of Hong Kong’s airport, went billions of dollars over budget and was delayed by two years.
Chinese officials, however, say they expect the bridge to cut driving time significantly between the two sides of the Pearl River and help to achieve what China calls a Greater Bay Area to bring the region’s cities closer together.
Plans for the ceremony were announced just days ahead to coincide with Xi’s first trip to China’s southern province of Guangdong in nearly six years, though his contribution to the opening was limited.
Xi spoke just a few words declaring the bridge formally open, with the main speeches coming from China’s vice-president Han Zheng and the leaders of Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong Province.
• The mainland city of Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong, is building its own competitor bridge across the Pearl River expected to open in 2023.
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