Wei Peiquan/Xinhua/Getty Images/File
The Senshu Bay Strait Crossing Bridge (pictured) is currently part of the high-speed rail route.
China’s railway ambitions are only growing.
The latest addition to the country’s portfolio is a 277-kilometre (172-mile) high-speed rail line along the southeast coast linking the cities of Zhangzhou, Xiamen and Fuzhou in Fujian province.
The top speed of trains on the line is 350 km/h (218 mph), according to national railway operator China Railway.
The first train on the line made its debut on Thursday, September 28, leaving the provincial capital Fuzhou at 9:15 a.m.
The new railway now has 84 bridges and 29 tunnels, as well as 20 km (12 miles) of track over the ocean, making it the country’s first overwater bullet train.
China Railways said it used intelligent robots and environmentally friendly corrosion-resistant steel in the construction of the water rail section.
The new line is just one of many infrastructure projects touted by the Chinese government in 2016, when the “eight horizontal, eight vertical” rail concept was announced.State media outlet Xinhua says ground transportation in Fujian has become difficult. Due to the mountainous terrain.
Fujian Province is also important as it is the closest region of mainland China to the autonomous island of Taiwan. Xiamen is located just 10 km (2.5 miles) across the Taiwan Strait from Kinmen, Taiwan’s westernmost region.
China’s ruling Communist Party claims Taiwan as its own territory, even though it has never ruled it.
According to Xinhua news agency, the Communist Party issued a circular earlier this month calling for “promoting the connectivity and integration of Fujian and Taiwan.”
A controversial proposal from a group of eight Kinmen city councilors earlier this year proposed creating a policy both literal and figurative. bridge across the strait. The plan would transform Kinmen Island into an “island of peace,” a kind of demilitarized zone between Taiwan and China.