The $20 billion ‘umbilical cord’: China unveils the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge

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The $20 billion ‘umbilical cord’: China unveils the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge

Spanning 34 miles (55 kilometers), this is the longest sea-crossing bridge ever built. Xinglin is visibly proud of his country’s monumental achievement. Due to open to the public this summer, this long snake of bitumen will connect a relatively small city on the Chinese mainland with the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. But since the bridge was first suggested in 2003, it has stirred controversy. This massive span of concrete and steel is not just proof of China’s ability to build record-setting megastructures — it’s also a potent symbol of the country’s growing geopolitical ambitions. As tensions simmer between the mainland and Hong Kong and Taiwan, and China continues to claim territory in the South China Sea, the bridge can be seen as a physical manifestation of the Chinese leadership’s determination to exert its regional influence. Critics have also questioned the environmental and human toll and the immense financial cost of the project.

Reading Vocabulary

simmer – exist in a suppressed state


Question: What do you think about this idea? Would you feel safe on this bridge? What do you think of the financial and environmental costs of this project?


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Picture Vocabulary

CRANE – a large, tall machine used for moving heavy objects by suspending them from a projecting arm or beam
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