On day three of his visit to China, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković toured on Sunday the 36km-long Hangzhou Bay Bridge, built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, the same construction company that is building Croatia's Pelješac Bridge.
The Hangzhou Bay Bridge, opened in 2007, is an impressive construction project that connects the Jiaxing and Ningbo districts in China’s Zheijang Province via Hangzhou Bay on the eastern coast of China. Economically, it is one of the fastest growing regions in China. The bridge cuts the travel distance from Shanghai, a business center of 23 million people, to the world's largest port, Ningbo, by more than 200 kilometers.
The Prime Minister’s Chinese hosts took the opportunity to show him one of the longest road bridges in the world, which the China Road and Bridge Corporation built in five years. This Chinese state-owned company signed a contract to build the Pelješac Bridge for 2.08 billion kuna last April.
The Peljesac Bridge project was also mentioned in talks between Prime Minister Plenković and the Mayor of Shanghai, Ying Yong.
"When we saw, in person, this exquisite feat of engineering and entrepreneurship, carried out under such demanding conditions, a bridge 36 kilometers long, we are confident CRBC will be equally efficient and successful in building the Pelješac Bridge," Plenković said.
Recalling that Chinese President Xi Jinping had laid the cornerstone for the bridge fifteen years ago, the PM said that the successful completion of the project showed that "with great dedication such a great venture could be initiated and completed within five years," he said, adding, “It is really an exceptional achievement.”
After touring the bridge, the Prime Minister left for Shanghai to join other world leaders at the opening of the China International Import Expo on Monday. More than 3,000 companies from 130 countries are attending the Expo, including representatives of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Croatian companies. The Croatian Tourism Board will open a permanent office in Shanghai during the Expo.