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China Proposes Ambitious High-Speed Rail Connection Across Taiwan Strait

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has revealed plans to undertake significant measures to enhance travel and connectivity between southern China’s Fujian Province and Taiwan via the Taiwan Strait. These measures are aimed at facilitating the interaction and engagement of Taiwanese entrepreneurs and are part of a comprehensive long-term integrated development strategy for the region. One of the most ambitious aspects of this plan is the construction of a high-speed railway that would span the Taiwan Strait.

As part of this ambitious initiative, China is set to bolster the development of Xiamen in Fujian Province and the Kinmen Islands, known as Taiwan’s Kinmen. Key areas of focus include improving infrastructure for gas, electricity, and transportation links between China and Taiwan. These measures are intended to create a seamless and efficient connection between the two regions.

The overarching goal of these measures is to transform Fujian Province into an integrated development zone with Taiwan. These intentions were publicly announced on Tuesday, September 12, by China, which has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan, a claim that Taiwan has consistently rejected.

China’s approach to Taiwan has been characterized by presenting two options: one of peace and prosperity and the other of conflict and adversity. The Chinese Air Force’s recent intrusion into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on September 14 underscores the ongoing tensions between the two regions.

One notable aspect of China’s proposal is its support for providing Kinmen with access to Xiamen’s new airport. Kinmen, despite being under Taiwan’s jurisdiction, is located adjacent to the city of Xiamen.

Additionally, China has expressed support for advancing new energy cooperation between Taiwan and Ningde, a city in Fujian Province situated north of Xiamen City.

Notably, China has set its sights on a grand ambition: the construction of a high-speed railway connection that traverses the Taiwan Strait. This visionary project, if realized, would significantly bolster connectivity and integration between China and Taiwan.

The news of these developments has resonated in the financial markets, with certain Fujian-based companies experiencing stock price increases. While the broader Chinese stock market remained relatively stable, shares of companies such as Strait Innovation Internet Co. and Zhongfu Straits Pingtan Development Co., both situated on Pingtan Island in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, witnessed gains of 8% and 5%, respectively.

China’s proposal to build a high-speed rail link across the Taiwan Strait reflects the nation’s determination to enhance connectivity and cooperation with Taiwan, despite the ongoing geopolitical complexities that characterize their relationship. The realization of such an ambitious infrastructure project would mark a significant milestone in the region’s economic and transportation landscape.

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