Chinese President Xi Jinping stopped in the coastal city of Zhuhai during his southern tour on Tuesday to officially open the world’s longest sea bridge, which will connect Hong Kong, Macau and the Chinese mainland.
The 35-kilometer (22-mile) bridge and 7-km tunnel will improve connectivity between the special administrative regions and cities in Guangdong province, Reuters reports.
The HK$120 billion ($15 billion) project has been portrayed as a large step in creating a “Greater Bay Area” in the Pearl River Delta, where eleven major cities are located. Similar integrative development plans are being implemented in the Yangtze River Delta surrounding Shanghai and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei northern cluster.
“The bridge stimulates the interaction and trades between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, facilitates the development of the Greater Bay Area and boost the comprehensive competitiveness of the Pearl River Delta,” said Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng.