China opens mega-bridge linking Hong Kong to mainland

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is lit up in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds on stage after official opening of the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is lit up in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is seen against the sunset in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the official opening of the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A man walks past a beach as the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge are seen at the back in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is seen against the sunset in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Photojournalists take photos of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Chinese President Xi Jinping waves as he arrives for the opening ceremony for the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
An officer walks by the immigration building for the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge ahead of the opening ceremony in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, prepares to leave after official opening of the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
People on a beach look at the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Visitors chat with a lifeguard on a beach as they look at the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Invited officials are silhouetted on a projector screen showing the construction of the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge ahead of the opening ceremony at the immigration building in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the official opening of the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during the opening ceremony for the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is seen in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Workers clean a pavilion as the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge are seen at the back in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A policeman and his dog patrol at the immigration building for the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge ahead of the opening ceremony in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A security officer stands guard at the main entrance of the immigration building for the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge ahead of the opening ceremony in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Chinese President Xi Jinping, front right, chats with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, front left, as they arrive for the opening ceremony for the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Hostesses walk by a billboard displaying the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge ahead of the opening ceremony at the immigration building in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, left, arrive for the opening ceremony for the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Chinese President Xi Jinping, third from right, chats with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, fourth from right, as they arrive for the opening ceremony for the China-Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge in Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

ZHUHAI, China — China has opened the world's longest sea-crossing bridge linking Hong Kong to the mainland in a feat of engineering that carries major economic and political significance.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the ceremony in the city of Zhuhai to cut the ribbon on the 55-kilometer (34-mile)-long bridge linking it to the semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

The $20 billion bridge took almost a decade to build. It includes an undersea tunnel allowing ships to pass through the Pearl River delta, the heart of China's crucial manufacturing sector.

It's opening will cut travel time across the delta from several hours to just 30 minutes. It also forms a physical link between the mainland and the Asian financial hub, which was handed over from British to Chinese control in 1997.

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