A shipping expert has suggested that a canal be built between Beijing and Tianjin, to provide an outlet to the sea for Beijing and promote the capital city's economic development and cultural progress.
As a metropolis, Beijing needs an outlet to the sea and the canal can link Beijing with the rest of the world through waterways, bringing along greater development of the city's economy and culture, and accelerating development on both sides of the canal, said Liu Dehong, deputy director of the marine bureau of the Ministry of Communications.
Liu is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), who is attending the annual session of the top advisory body of China, scheduled to close Wednesday afternoon.
Beijing and Tianjin are over 120 kilometers away and the difference of elevation between the two cities is 40 meters.
In terms of technology and equipment, the Beijing-Tianjin canal is feasible to build, said Liu, adding the canal can make use of water resources of the south-to-north water diversion project. The east route of the planned water diversion project is to channel water from the lower reaches of the Yangtze River into Tianjin and Hebei Province.
Liu said that transport departments have made surveys and planning on the feasibility of the canal.
According to plan, the canal will be linked with the water system in Beijing at one end and it will be divided into two ways in Tianjin, one to be connected with a waterway leading to Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province and one runs to Tanggu Port and empties into the sea.
While building bridges across the canal, three to four ship locks can also be constructed to allow passage of 3,000 dead weight tonnage ships on the canal, Liu said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2002)