Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.”
Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei.
“This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said.
“It is China’s ‘united front’ propaganda machine at work,” he added.
“[Chinese leaders] believe that by building a transportation link to Taipei, the Beijing government can claim that Taiwan falls under Chinese jurisdiction,” he said.
“In Europe, they have highway and railway networks linking many countries. These transportation networks go from the UK, France, all the way to Turkey. Does it mean that people consider all EU member states connected by transportation as belonging to one country?” he said.
The Chinese plan says the highway and railway links would be completed by 2035, with the final phase of the project connecting Fuzhou in China’s Fujian Province to Taipei through an undersea tunnel through the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwanese pundits and politicians said that would be impossible given the political divide, as well as unrealistic because of the engineering, environmental and financial difficulties.
Taiwan already has very good road networks that provide convenient access, Wang said.
“On the other hand, corruption is rife in China’s transportation sector, and many government officials have been arrested for siphoning money off highway and railway construction projects,” he said.
“I suggest China look after itself, instead of always coveting its neighboring country,” he said.
“The State Council should be more ambitious by announcing a plan to build a road linking China to the moon,” he added.
Some netizens said that the Beijing leadership is deluded and daydreaming.
“It is propaganda for their internal consumption, designed to deceive their own citizens. Taiwanese can already can see it is a hoax,” one netizen who called himself Johnny wrote.
“I suggest China build a trans-Pacific railway connecting Beijing to Washington in the US,” a netizen surnamed Liu (劉) wrote.
“This shows that the ‘One Belt, One Road’ project is China’s dream to build transportation networks to Asia, Europe and Africa, to unite all these continents under Chinese motherland’s rule,” another netizen wrote.
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