Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds on stage after official opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers, in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Oct 23, 2018. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
ZHUHAI - Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge at a launch ceremony in the city of Zhuhai, Guangdong province, on Tuesday morning.
Leading officials from Guangdong and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions attended the ceremony, which took place at the passenger clearance building of the Zhuhai Port.
The 55-km bridge is the first of its kind for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao SARs to jointly build a supergiant sea-crossing traffic project under the principle of "one country, two systems"
There were hundreds representing the roughly 50,000 construction workers and engineers from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao SARs who built the mega Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, including leading engineers and designers.
Representatives of bridge operators from the three cities also attended the grand opening.
On behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, expressed sincere thanks and warm greetings to those who participated in the design, building, and management of the bridge.
Han Zheng, vice-premier and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, addressed the opening ceremony.
The 55-km bridge, situated in the waters of Lingdingyang of Pearl River Estuary, connects the Hong Kong SAR, Zhuhai and Macao SAR. The bridge is the first of its kind for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao SARs to jointly build a supergiant sea-crossing traffic project under the principle of "one country, two systems."
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At 9:30 am, Xi was greeted at the hall by a standing ovation amid joyful music.
After watching a video on the building of the bridge, Li Xi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Macao SAR Chui Sai-on, and Han Zheng delivered speeches respectively.
At about 10 am, Xi walked up to the podium and announced the opening of the bridge. After the ceremony, Xi rode in a vehicle to tour and inspect the bridge.
During the inspection, Xi ascended on a platform to overlook the bridge at the east artificial island, which is a key part of the bridge.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (second from right), Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR Carrie Lam (fourth from right), Chief Executive of Macao SAR Chui Sai-on (third from right) and other officials tour the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, Oct 23, 2018. (PHOTO / GOVERNMENT INFORMATION BUREAU)
The bridge is a national project. "You participated in the design, building, and maintenance of the bridge, gave full play to your talents and wisdom, and accomplished the tasks with good quality and quantity," Xi said, adding that he is proud of such achievements.
Praising builders of the bridge for breaking a number of world records, Xi said they demonstrate the nation's spirit of striving to overcome any difficulties, the national strength, the innovative ability, and the aspiration to be the world's best.
"With the bridge, we have further enhanced our confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics," Xi said.
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (second row, center), Vice-Premier Han Zheng (second row, fifth from right), Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR Carrie Lam (second row, fifth from left), Chief Executive of Macao SAR Chui Sai-on (second row, fourth from left) and other officials pose for a group photo with technicians involved in building the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, Oct 23, 2018. (PHOTO / GOVERNMENT INFORMATION BUREAU)
The bridge should not only be structurally sound but also well managed, in a bid to contribute to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, he said.
The bridge will help improve personnel and trade exchanges among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao SARs, benefit the development of the area, and enhance the comprehensive competitiveness of the Pearl River Delta, Han said.
He stressed that the bridge is important for supporting Hong Kong and Macao SARs in integrating their own development into the overall development of the country, and fully advancing mutually beneficial cooperation among the mainland, and Hong Kong and Macao SARs.
This photo shows the attendees of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao opening ceremony waiting patiently with the scheduled to begin, Oct 23, 2018. (HE SHUSI / CHINA DAILY)
The construction of the bridge began on Dec 15, 2009, and its main structure was completed on July 7, 2017.
The bridge will officially open to traffic at 9 am on Oct 24.
HONG KONG NEWS