Macau Chief Executive Chui Sai On said Tuesday during the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge that close communication between the three governments in building the bridge demonstrated the successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
Chui noted that the new land link – serving “One Country” and “Two Systems” while connecting three separate customs territories – i.e. the entire west bank of the Pearl River Delta region in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau – would have a profound significance in driving economic development of the region.
On a social level, the bridge would also strengthen opportunities for Macau people to have exchanges with people on the mainland, Chui said.
Speaking at the ceremony Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngo said the bridge would help transform Hong Kong from a “connector to a more active participant”.
Minutes before President Xi Jinping announced the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge the world’s longest sea bridge.
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 (CMC), expressed sincere thanks and warm greetings to those who participated in the design, building, and management of the mega-bridge.
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, according to Xinhua.
Praising the 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, national strength, 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.
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-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), he said.
Han Zheng, vice premier and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, addressed the opening ceremony, which was held at a hall of Zhuhai Port.
The bridge will help improve personnel and trade exchanges among Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau, 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 Macau in integrating their own development into the overall development of the country, and fully advancing mutually beneficial cooperation among the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Han characterised the bridge as part of the development of the Greater Bay Area – a project which aims to create an economic hub linking nine southern mainland cities to Hong Kong and Macau.
At the ceremony Han described the strategy as “deployed and driven by Xi Jinping personally”.
The 55-km bridge, situated in the waters of Lingdingyang of the Pearl River Estuary, connects Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau. The bridge is the first of its kind for the three regions to jointly build a sea-crossing traffic project under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems.”
The crossing consists of a snaking road bridge and underwater tunnel.
Construction of the bridge began on December 15, 2009, and its main structure was completed on July 7, 2017. The total price tag is unclear but some estimates run to over 100 billion yuan.