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  • This is the longest sea bridge in the world.

  • It links Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai in mainland China,

  • and it's one of the most ambitious engineering projects ever built.

  • It's not just about concrete and steel

  • it's about binding Hong Kong into the mainland

  • and accelerating the development of southern China.

  • This is a vital strategic project to further deepen China's reform programme

  • and improve the country's economic growth.

  • President Xi Jinping has a grand plan to transform this part of China into a greater Bay Area

  • That will be the third pole of economic growth alongside Beijing and Shanghai.

  • The bridge will open later this year alongside an 11 billion dollar high-speed rail link

  • connecting Hong Kong to the rest of China.

  • The Bay Area already has three of the world's top ten ports and three of Asia's busiest airports.

  • Next, investors want to see reforms to ease the movement of people, goods and capital across the border.

  • The scale of China's ambition is eye-popping.

  • The bay area is home to 11 different cities and nearly 70 million people.

  • If it was a country, it would be a member of the G20 with a trillion dollar economy

  • bigger than Indonesia, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

  • The goal is to attract entrepreneurs.

  • Like Hongkonger Joseph Tse, who set up a robotics company in Shenzhen.

  • Hong Kong, from a traditional financing (perspective), is very strong,

  • Since this is connected to the world and it's easy to contact to the investors

  • Yeah, right.

  • So Hong Kong is still a place that nobody can replace

  • Shengzhen is the developer's heaven.

  • Hardware, software. If you want to build something nice and quick.

  • You can personalize your own iPhone downstairs for (in) just two hours

  • But building an integrated economic zone across three political jurisdictions

  • is much more complicated than plugging chips into a circuit board.

  • The economic links between the Bay Area cities go back several decades

  • but further integration has been limited by Beijing's capital controls,

  • the great internet firewall, and travel restrictions.

  • As this government advert shows, to simply drive from Hong Kong to Macau over the new bridge,

  • you'll have to navigate a minefield of bureaucracy.

  • Many Hong Kongs fear that the political drive behind the project is to find them to the mainland,

  • eroding Hong Kong's democratic freedoms, which are already under threat.

  • But the business community says that unless Hongkongers can put aside their fears and

  • embrace Beijing's towering economic ambitions, the city will be left behind.

  • I think Hong Kong could be see(n) as

  • the superconnector for (the) Greater Bay Area

  • because of our legal structure, our excellent kind of communication and infrastructure technologies.

  • If not, we will be left behind, and then, we won't have any role to play.

  • Xi Jinping isn't going to let his plans be scuppered by the fears of Hong Kongers,

  • but overcoming the challenges,

  • from capital controls, to free movement of people, may yet prove a bridge too far.

This is the longest sea bridge in the world.

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