News / Asia

Taiwan, China Complete Direct Undersea Data Cable

China Mobile Chief Executive Li Yue waves to the press during a ceremony in Taipei linking the first undersea fiber optic cable between Taiwan and China on January 18, 2013.  China Mobile Chief Executive Li Yue waves to the press during a ceremony in Taipei linking the first undersea fiber optic cable between Taiwan and China on January 18, 2013.
x
China Mobile Chief Executive Li Yue waves to the press during a ceremony in Taipei linking the first undersea fiber optic cable between Taiwan and China on January 18, 2013.
China Mobile Chief Executive Li Yue waves to the press during a ceremony in Taipei linking the first undersea fiber optic cable between Taiwan and China on January 18, 2013.
Ralph Jennings
Telecommunications operators in mainland China and Taiwan finished a landmark undersea fiber optic data transmission cable Friday. The 270-kilometer line from Taipei to Fuzhou in China caps more than four years of first-ever transit and commerce links between the old political rivals. It may also invite business from telecom firms far beyond China.
 
China’s two top telecom firms teamed up with four in Taiwan to build the $34.5 million cable across an ocean strait better known as a tense military buffer. With the cable’s completion on January 18, voice calls, mobile data and Internet connections are expected to become stronger and faster, a lift to the recent boom in business relations.
 
Taiwan’s Deputy Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih told a completion ceremony in Taipei that his government had wanted a data cable as flights, ocean shipping and other links had already opened between the two sides.
 
He said the one thing left to be opened up was data transmissions. Yeh said his ministry had noticed the increasing cultural, social and economic ties between Taiwan and the mainland, so the flow of data was important. He added that the fiber optic cable has crucial symbolic and historic meaning.
 
Taiwanese officials began considering the cable in 2002 but because of icy political ties at the time could not start the project.
 
China has considered self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s, and has threatened to take it by force if necessary. But since 2008, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and his mainland counterparts have put aside political disputes to negotiate trade, transit and investment deals geared to help the island economy. The cable project began under Ma’s government.
 
With the new fiber optic cable, data will no longer need to be sent through slower indirect undersea cables. The boost in speed will smoothen connections between entertainers, investors and travel agents from the two growing economies. Two-way trade surpassed $100 billion in the first 10 months of last year, and Taiwan is steadily raising the number of sectors open to mainland Chinese investment.
 
Local operators say that in August, the two sides got direct data started with a fiber optic cable that runs from the Taiwan-controlled outlying islet of Kinmen to the mainland city of Xiamen a few kilometers away.
 
China Mobile Chief Executive Officer Li Yue said at the completion ceremony that the newer cable is crucial. The huge mainland provider’s income from Taiwan rose nearly 40 percent in the first 11 months of last year and the number of roaming customers in Taiwan grew 15 percent.
 
Li said his company will definitely let the fiber optic cable open at an early date, expand it at an early date and, at an early date, provide higher quality service to businesses and mobile phone users on both sides of the Strait.
 
The line, named Fiber Optic Cable No. 1, also may attract telecom firms from places as far away as the United States. The group of Taiwanese operators said in a statement that firms from outside the region could use the relatively short cable from Taiwan as a gateway to China, which restricts direct foreign access.
 
The Taiwanese operators say their connection is less cumbersome than existing routes to China through Japan or South Korea.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid