China, Taiwan linked by first subsea cable

First subsea cable connecting mainland China and Taiwan completed and will be operational next week, in sign relations between both economies thawing.

The first subsea telecommunications cable connecting mainland China and Taiwan has been completed and will go operational next Tuesday.

In an AFP report on Thursday, an unnamed official from Taiwan telecom operator Chunghwa Telecom said the company has invested about NT$100 million (US$3 million) in a joint venture with three other telecom operators from China to build and deploy the cable link.

The joint venture was formed in 2011 between Chunghwa Telecom, which holds 50 percent stake, and China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom, according to a 2011 report by The Register.

The two fiber optic cables connect Xiamen city in southern China with Taiwan-administered Kinmen Island which is about 200 kilometers from the main island of Taiwan, AFP noted. Before the cross-straits cables were in place, telecommunications between Taiwan and mainland China were routed through third-parties such as Japan, it said.

The newswire said the the cable collaboration is a another sign of "fast-improving ties" between Taiwan and China after the two economies were divided at the end of a civil war in 1949.

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