Zhao Yinglai, the principal of China-Korea Submarine Tunnel, vice president of development institute of South Korea Gyeonggito, recently said that South Korea is actively promoting the basic research on a "China Korea" subsea tunnel, and the plan is expected to be completed in April 2010. The study shows that the overall tunnel construction will cost 700 billion Yuan, the travel time from Beijing to Seoul will be shortened to four hours, while the construction period is as long as 15 years.
It costs about 700 billion Yuan
Zhao estimates that the Submarine Tunnel project requires a total of 15 years or so, in which pre-audit needs 5 years, and the construction needs 10 years. According to the different schemes, the project probably cost about 700 billion Yuan. The route from North Korea ongjin to Weihai is the cheapest one, which needs approximately 420 billion RMB.
It is noted that the project is currently at the level of discussion among local governments and civil society organizations. The governments of China and South Korea have not conducted any formal consultation.
Chinese scholars have conceived the plan
Xu Yunfei, the researcher of Shandong Communications Science Institute has the story on how this project comes out. "This idea was first proposed by us, but South Korea is more proactive than we are." He disclosed that since 1992 he has suggested the idea of developing Sino-Korean traffic, but the concept was a strait channel at that time. At present, there are four alternative routes proposed, i.e., Incheon to China Weihai (362 km), Hwaseong to Weihai (374 kilometers), Pyeongtaek to Weihai (380 km), and North Korea Ongjin to Weihai (221 km). 4-line all share the starting point of the Chinese city of Weihai Rongcheng due to the shortest distance from there to Korean Peninsula.
4-hour high-speed railway connects Beijing and Seoul
Through detailed calculations the China-Korea undersea tunnel will generate 102.6 billion U.S. dollars to South Korea, 133.3 billion to China, 7.6 billion to Japan, totaling 243.6 billion in economic benefits. Meanwhile, for mechanical and metal ores transport it will also create 88.3 billion U.S. dollars of additional benefits. Even if the longest tunnel is built, it would bring over twice the benefit than the construction cost.
Zhao said, if the High Speed Rail operates at 200 kilometers per hour in the tunnel, it takes only 4 hours and 26 minutes from Seoul to Beijing (1366 kilometers), and just 5 hours 31 minutes from Seoul to Shanghai (1800 kilometers). South Korea, Beijing and Shanghai regions are expected to integrate into an enormous economic circle.