China is drawing up plans to invest RMB2trn (US$315.08bn) in building 85,000km of new expressways, including a highway linking the mainland to Taiwan, Communications Minister Zhang Chunxian said. He said the project would take between 20 and 30 years to complete, including a "special corridor" connecting the mainland to Taiwan, located some 200km offshore. Asked what form the link might take, he said: "Taipei could be linked by building a tunnel or something else". Plans for the road link to Taiwan are motivated by both political as well as economic considerations, part of Beijing's campaign to assert its sovereignty over the island. However, Reuters quoted one Chinese engineer as saying such a link was not economically viable, estimating it would cost at least US$15.75bn to build. The link would also have to be able to withstand the frequent typhoons that batter the area, as well as earthquakes.
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