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The world's largest sea bridge, located across the Pearl River Estuary, is finally close to being finished.
The bridge will connect China with its nearest neighbours, Hong Kong and Macau, and will measure a grand total of 55km.
It will be six lanes wide and includes four tunnels and four artificial islands to keep it above the water.
"We have included a lot of foreign experts from the UK, US, Denmark, Switzerland, Japan, and the Netherlands," said Gao Xinglin, the team leader on the bridge project. "They are from around 14 countries."
Currently, travel time between Hong Kong and Macau is around two hours by plane, but that will be slashed to just 30 minutes when the bridge opens, leaving the three major economic centres just a stone's throw away.
"We hope that the friends from the press can take this opportunity to see the new accomplishment of China in the new era and fresh progress of the 'one country, two systems'", said Song Ruan, deputy commissioner at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referring to the political system by which China and Hong Kong are linked culturally, but maintain independent political systems.
"Both [projects] are being hailed as crucial transport links between the mainland and Hong Kong, but critics say it's another attempt by China to blur the border," said Al-Jazeera reporter Sarah Clarke.
China is often accused of trying to overpower the political systems of Hong Kong, with the ultimate aim of integrating it back into the country.
With this new bridge, China will shift its immigration facilities into Hong Kong, rather than on the border, where they currently stand.
"It's a kind of infrastructure telling the people of Hong Kong or the people on the mainland that Hong Kong and China are no longer two places," said Kwok Ka-Ki, a politician from the Civic Party in Hong Kong, which opposes further integration with China due to the lack of democracy and human rights in the PRC.
China has defended the bridge, saying that it is simply a move to integrate three of the most important economic centres in the nation with each other.
It's reported that the big unveiling will occur later this year.
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