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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid