Representatives of Chinese state-owned construction company China Construction Communication Engineering Group visited the island of Muhu on Wednesday, where they familiarised with the plans of a local group of businessmen to build a bridge between Muhu and Saaremaa and the Estonian mainland.
According to local paper 'Saarte Hääl,' the representatives affirmed their company's readiness to participate in the bridge project, the Baltic News Service reported.
Former MP and public servant Andrus Villem, who took the Chinese businessmen to Muhu, said that the chances to realise the bridge project would increase with every contribution that doesn't mean an additional burden to the Estonian state.
A bridge between the mainland and the island of Muhu along with the existing dam between Muhu and Saaremaa would establish a permanent road link from the mainland to Estonia's biggest island.
Villem added that the Chinese would be prepared to build the bridge under a concession, and that after the expiration of the concession agreement the bridge would become property of the Estonian state, though there are no details to talk about at this point.
According to Villem, the proponents of the bridge have been in touch with the Chinese company for some six months. Wednesday's meeting on Muhu was the first.
Kalle Laanet, deputy president of the Riigikogu and himself from Saaremaa, said that it is clear at this point that the Chinese would like to build the bridge, and that the Estonian side would like to see it built. 'How we eventually match up is a matter of further discussion,' Laanet said.
Editor: Dario Cavegn