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

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora