The Taiwan Strait
Pingtan or Haitan Island is an island off the east coast of Fujian Province, China, south of the complex estuary of the Min River. It is the largest island in Fujian and the fifth-largest island in China.
Administratively, the island is part of Pingtan County, which includes several smaller islands and part of the nearby mainland. Most of the county's towns, including its seat of government at Tancheng, are on the island. Large areas of the island's coast have undergone land reclamation, along with major building and infrastructure projects.
Pingtan is separated from Taiwan Island by the Taiwan Strait. Following the completion of its bridge to the mainland in 2010, Pingtan may be considered the closest part of the Chinese "mainland" to Taiwan Island.
Under current international agreement, the island's southernmost extremity forms the boundary between the East and South China Seas. In the still-unapproved draft of the new edition of the IHO's Limits of Oceans and Seas, Cape Xiang—the northernmost extremity of the island—forms the boundary between the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, with the South China Sea having its northern boundary moved to the south end of the strait.
World Heritage Status
The island relies on tourism and anticipates that foreign investment will spur economic growth. The first major bridge to cross the Haitan Strait was completed in November 2010, connecting the island to Fuqing on the mainland. Spanning 4,976 meters, it cost 1.4 billion RMB (about US$200 million) to build.
An 88.5-km-long Fuzhou-Pingtan Railway (the Fuping Railway, 福平铁路), connecting Fuzhou to Pingtan Island, via Changle and a series of bridges, is under construction. The project was approved in November 2012. It was expected that the work would start by the end of the year, and would take about five and a half years.
In early 2012, it was announced that a large cloud computing center would be built in Pingtan.
A 430,000-square-foot (40,000 m2) museum, the Pingtan Art Museum, is currently under construction in the island. The museum, designed by the Chinese-American firm MAD Studio on an artificial island, is scheduled for completion in 2016.
- Cf. especially the historical imagery timeline available for Google Earth.
- IHO (1953), §49.
- IHO (1986), Ch. 7.2.
- Haitan Scenic Spots - UNESCO World Heritage Centre; added to Tentative List on November 29, 2001.
- "Pingtan Island, a before and after story in the making". Whats On Xiamen , Inc. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- 福州至平潭铁路可研报告获发改委批复, 2012-11-10
- "China to Build Cloud Computing Center in Pingtan Near Taiwan". Hostingtecnews. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "China - The museum is an island". Inexhibit. Retrieved March 9, 2015.