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Peljesac bridge connecting Croatia with EU and China
For people in the southern tip of Croatia - their car journeys may just be a little bit easier this morning. A new road bridge - costing more than half-a-billion dollars - has officially opened. It bypasses a strip of land that belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The BBC's Tim Allman has the story.
Two Prime Minsters: Andrej Plenković of Croatia and Li Keqiang of China. Getty Images.
Chinese-built Peljesac Bridge in Croatia opens to traffic, a symbol of closer ties
The Peljesac Bridge, constructed by a Chinese consortium led by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, across the Bay of Mali Ston in the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia, connecting the country's mainland with the Peljesac Peninsula, has officially opened to traffic on Tuesday, making it easier for locals to travel. The completion of the project is a symbol of closer ties between China and Croatia.
Speaking via video link on the sidelines of the open ceremony on Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that the project is a remarkable achievement and carries forward the friendship between China and Croatia, Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Li recalled the time when he, together with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, pressed the start button of the pile driver on the main pier of the bridge three years ago, the report said.
While the construction of the bridge has since withstood multiple tests, such as wind, rain, epidemics and earthquakes it has overcome the difficulties, advanced on schedule and opened to traffic, Li said.
The bridge's completion has greatly shortened the commute time between northern and southern Croatia, making it easier for the local population to travel while potentially boosting economic development and trade, media reported.
The Chinese consortium won the bid in 2018 and started the construction of the sea-crossing bridge.
As the largest construction project of transportation infrastructure since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia, the Peljesac Bridge, 2,440 meters long and 22.5 meters wide, is also a model project for China, Croatia and the EU to carry out tripartite cooperation.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia and the inauguration of the bridge built by a Chinese company added a new landmark to the friendship between the two countries and peoples.
The bridge also marks the first time a Chinese company wins the bid for an EU-funded project. This is also the largest single project undertaken by a Chinese company funded by the EU, media reported.
Global Times https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202207/1271607.shtml
The idea of suspension bridge originates from Faust Vrančić, Croatian Renaissance writer, lexicographer and inventor.
Faust Vrančić was a distinguished Croatian inventor and encyclopaedist during the Renaissance time on 16/17th centuries. Among his most important inventions we mention the parachute as we use today (very different from Leonardo da Vinci'c), suspension bridge and wind turbine. He wrote an important five language dictionary of the most noble Eureopan languages, which included Latin, Italian, German, Croatian and Hungarian. Faust Vrančić, born in the town of Šibenik, now has a superb Memorial Center on the nearby island of Prvić, where he was burried according his last wish.