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First undersea fiber-optic cable links mainland, Taiwan

An undersea fiber-optic communications cable directly linking the Chinese mainland and Taiwan was officially put into service on Friday.

It is the first communications cable linking both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

The operation of the "direct communications link," which came after both sides formed direct mail, trade and transport links, means mainland-Taiwan communications will no longer rely solely on international cables.

The move has been widely hailed by telecommunications circles and authorities from both sides as "a significant step forward in promoting cross-Strait peace and development."

Connecting Fuzhou, capital of Fujian Province, and Tamsui, Taiwan, the cable stretches 270 kilometers, the shortest distance between the mainland and Taiwan.

The cable, "Cross-Strait Fiber-Optic 1," was jointly constructed by mainland telecommunications companies China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom and Taiwan-based FarEasTone, Taiwan Mobile, Taiwan International Gateway Corporation and ChungHwa Telecom. Cable-laying work began on Nov. 6 last year.

Two ceremonies were held simultaneously on Friday in Taipei and Fuzhou to mark the official launch of operations.

The cable incorporates the most advanced transmission technologies.

It is expected to largely enhance cross-Strait communications and free both sides from their reliance on international fiber-optic communications cables, said Chang Xiaobing, board chairman of China Unicom.

"Today, a happy occasion is observed on both sides of the Taiwan Strait," said Lin Join-sane, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation in Taipei.

According to executives of Taiwanese telecommunications firms, the cable is significant in promoting cross-Strait exchanges by offering a more convenient and more stable means of communication, and it will also bring new business opportunities to the island's telecommunications sector.

Copyright 2012 R&H Telecommunication Technology Co.,Limited. All rights reserved.