The regions, the zones and the Central Government - how they work together
The proposal of establishing a link between Hong Kong and Zhuhai has been in hibernation for ten years after former Zhuhai mayor Liang Guangda first put forward the idea in 1992.
It was a wake up call when, in April 2002, Guangdong Vice Governor Ou Guangyuan talked about building a tunnel to link up Zhuhai and Shenzhen. (See Timeline) The Hong Kong SAR government feared that such a link willmarginalize Hong Kong in the economic development of the western part of the Pearl River Delta.
Shortly after that, at least four proposals using bridges to link up Hong Kong with Zhuhai and possibly Macao were put forward.
The Hong Kong SAR government's original position was that such a link would not be considered at least until 2016. It has since changed.
On October 16, 2002, Sarah Liao, Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works of Hong Kong SAR said in the Legislative Council that such a link is urgently needed to foster closer economic ties with Guangdong province.
The Central Government and Hong Kong SAR government agree to jointly look into the matter. Hong Kong plans to complete the initial feasibility study within several months and expects consultation to begin in early 2003.
Hong Kong SAR
In 1996, when Zhuhai proposed the RMB 16 billion Lingdingyang Bridge
project, Hong Kong gave it a cold shoulder, as the then British colonial
government was counting its days to leave Hong Kong.
After Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of China in 1997, it maintained close consultation with Guangdong province on border crossing infrastructures. Although a number of cross border bridge proposals were still under consideration, Hong Kong and Shenzhen agreed to build a Shenzhen Western Corridor bridge which, when completed in 2005, will provide one more cross border link. The finalization of the project took a year, even though the plan was first put forward in 1991.
Zhuhai Special Economic Zone was once very eager to build the bridge.
Macao is the most eager among the three parties to see the construction of the bridge. Shortly after taking over as the Chief Executive of Macao, Mr. Edmund Ho expressed to the Hong Kong government his hope that the bridge will provide a direct link with Lantau Island, the site of the future Disneyland. Macao hopes that with such a connection, tourists who visit Disneyland (to be completed in 2005) will cross Lingdingyang (the lonely ocean) and visit Macao and Zhuhai. For Mr. Ho, a bridge will link up the three cities and boost tourism in Macao as well as facilitate its cargo transportation.