People take souvenir photos in front of the Pelješac Bridge in Komarna, Croatia, on Aug. 29, 2023 [Photo/Xinhua]
On July 26, 2022, the Pelješac Bridge in Croatia, built by a Chinese enterprise consortium led by China Road and Bridge Corporation, held a grand opening ceremony. Croatian President Milanovic, Prime Minister Plenkovic, Speaker Jandrokovic, officials from the Chinese Embassy in Croatia and people from all walks of life in Croatia attended the opening ceremony. The construction of the bridge has greatly shortened the travel time for Croatians, promoted the development of local tourism, transportation, logistics and other industries, and brought benefits to local people.
The "brightest pearl" of China-Croatia relations
The Pelješac Bridge is a highway cable-stayed bridge with a length of 2440 meters and a width of 22.5 meters, connecting the Croatian mainland with the Pelješac Peninsula. The bridge project is the first time that a Chinese company has won the bid for an EU funded project.
Croatian politicians generally believe that the Pelješac Bridge built by a Chinese company is of great significance and is an example of win-win cooperation between Croatia and China. Croatian Prime Minister Plenkovic said that the Pelješac Bridge is the most important infrastructure in Croatia, helping the Croatians realize their long-cherished wish of connecting the north and the south. The completion of the bridge is one of the most important events in Croatia.
According to Qi Qianjin, Chinese ambassador to Croatia, since the bridge was opened to traffic one year ago, more than 2.3 million vehicles have safely passed by, which has greatly promoted the development of the local economy. Through the construction of the bridge, Chinese people and Chinese enterprises won good reputation, and have been deeply impressed Croatians. The Pelješac Bridge is affectionately called "the brightest jewel in the crown of China-Croatia relations" by Croatian officials.
Promote the development of local tourism
Local resident Stipe Capo said that during the bridge project, Chinese workers rented the apartment, bringing the residents considerable income. After the bridge opened to traffic last year, it immediately became a tourist attraction, bringing a steady stream of visitors to local apartments.
Vedran Antunica, the mayor of Stone City, who is in charge of the Pelješac Bridge, said that after the opening of the Pelješac Bridge, people who travelled to the bridge, and some other cities nearby, has doubled, which has brought huge benefits to the local area and greatly promoted the development of the local tourism economy. In addition, the opening of the bridge has a significant effect on improving local traffic and logistics.
"Nobel Prize" in the international bridge industry
So far, the Pelješac Bridge project has received numerous national and international awards, including the Gustav Lindsall Award of the 40th International Bridge Congress. The Gustav Lindsall Award is known as the "Nobel Prize" in the international bridge industry, and the Pelješac Bridge project is the first time that a bridge project constructed by a Chinese company has won the top international award.
Edited and translated by Li Wei