Xi Jinping Surprises With Two-Second Announcement of World’s Longest Sea Bridge
Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised his nation when he announced the opening of the world’s longest sea bridge in just a few seconds on Tuesday.
Xi broke the news from the port city of Zhuhai, one of the cities linked by the 55-kilometer (34-mile) structure projected to serve 40,000 travelers a day.
“I announce the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is officially open,” Xi told about 700 people in the audience.
Last year, Xi opened the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with a three-hour and 23-minute speech regarding a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
As such, observers believe that the Chinese president was “strangely curt” in launching the bridge, which took nine years and cost $20 billion to build.
Additionally, nine people died and 200 more sustained injuries over the course of its construction that started in 2009.
After his announcement, Xi left the podium as members of the audience — including Vice Premier Han Zheng and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam — clapped on their chairs.
Meanwhile, viewers at home were left with electronic fireworks that flashed on TV.
If anything, Xi may be letting the gargantuan project speak for itself. The bridge, some 20 times longer than California’s Golden Gate, aims to serve a Silicon Valley rival known as the “Greater Bay Area.”
It also aims to facilitate a “one country, two systems” framework, which grants Hong Kong and Macau a degree of autonomy.
Built with 420,000 tons of steel, the structure is resistant to winds with speeds of up to 211 miles per hour and is expected to last for more than a century.
It is currently open to shuttles, trucks and private vehicles with permits.
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