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Hengqin: A New Bridge between Macao and the Mainland

2009-12-07 13:12 BJT

by Zhang Jin

The start of construction work of the new campus of University of Macao (UM) is expected to significantly boost the development of Hengqin Island, where the campus will be located, just before the tenth anniversary of Macao's return to China.

Workers prepare for the formal start of construction work on the new the University of Macao campus on Hengqin Island in Zhuhai, southern China's Guangdong Province on Thursday, December 3, 2009. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]
Workers prepare for the formal start of construction work on the new the 
University of Macao campus on Hengqin Island in Zhuhai, southern China's 
Guangdong Province on Thursday, December 3, 2009. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

The land for the new campus will cover more than 1.09 square kilometers on Hengqin Island in southern China's Guangdong province and lie just across a narrow water channel from Macao. The central government is leasing the land to the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) for 40 years.

According to Niu Jing, deputy director of the Hengqin New Area Administration Committee, the jurisdiction of the new campus will be passed to the Macao SAR when the project is completed in about three years. Macao residents will be able to enter the campus without a customs check.

"It will be very convenient for Macao residents and teachers and UM students," Niu said. "They will not have to pass any border inspection or customs checks and can enter the new campus freely through an undersea tunnel."

The new campus will be 20 times larger than UM's current one in Macao and be able to accommodate a minimum of 10,000 students. The university's jurisdiction over the new site will expire on December 19, 2049.