'Bridge Of Death': China Opens World's Longest Sea Bridge

China has opened the world's longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong to the mainland.

The 55-kilometre-long structure connects the regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

While the bridge cost a whopping $20 billion to build, the toll was much higher for those who worked on the bridge. The structure has been deemed the "bridge of death" by some local media outlets after 18 workers lost their lives while building the structure, according to the BBC.

The bridge connects Hong Kong to the mainland. Image: AAP

One section of the road disappears beneath the surface of the Pearl River Delta in an underwater tunnel connected by two purpose-built islands. This allows the free and easy travel of ships that pass through the area regularly as part of China's manufacturing industry.

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China's President Xi Jinping ran the ceremony that officially opened the bridge, which carried particular significance for his administration. Not only does the bridge cut travel time across the delta from a number of hours to just 30 minutes, but it also forms a physical link between mainland China and Hong Kong.

18 people lost their lives building the bridge. Image: Reuters.

This acts as a symbol to the people of Hong Kong, showing they are still connected to the mainland. This is significant for Xi's government, who has rejected calls for the political liberation of Hong Kong.

When Hong Kong was handed over from British to Chinese control in 1997, the region was promised it would maintain its own legal and economic system for 50 years. There are fears Beijing will try and double down on these liberties before the end of the agreed period in 2047.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au