TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China late last month announced plans to build a highway connecting Taiwan with the communist country by 2035, drawing mockery from Taiwanese politicians and netizens.
On Feb. 24, China's State Council released its "Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan," which set construction goals for transportation links from 2021 to 2035 ultimately covering 700,000 kilometers. Much to the amusement of Taiwanese, this includes a "road" that connects Fuzhou in China's Fujian Province to Taipei.
The new transportation network would include six axes, seven corridors, and eight thoroughfares, with a major axis running from Beijing to Tianjin, Hebei, Anhui, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao, and ultimately to Taipei. The axis is to be a major highway and apparently would connect with Taipei via an underground tunnel beneath the Taiwan Strait. This would supposedly enable motorists to drive from Beijing to Taipei within 10 hours.
Guests on a Chinese state-run TV program Guancha claimed that the project to build a highway is feasible based on over a decade of planning and that China is "serious" about completing it. State-run media tabloid the Global Times claimed that some in Taiwan welcomed the plan believing it will "lead the people of Taiwan out of poverty."
However, Taiwanese netizens found the plans to be ridiculous propaganda, making comments such as: "You can have everything in your dreams. Go ahead and dream!" In response to the proposed route, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said that it was only a United Front trick, reported Liberty Times.
Wang advised the public to read the plans like a "science fiction novel." He pointed out that the "fantasy road network" had been proposed many times in the past and urged the Chinese Communist Party to not be a "frog at the bottom of a well."
He argued that if transportation links always signified sovereignty, then the European transportation network which extends from the U.K. to Turkey, means that they are all part of the same country. Wang pointed out that Taiwan already has a very convenient transportation network, while China's has been plagued by corruption scandals.