The Chinese and the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel
From Tallinn to Helsinki in 20 minutes: a train tunnel between the Estonian and Finnish capitals which has been in planning for years is to make this possible. Now the Chinese firm Touchstone wants to invest 15 billion euros in the project and the planning company Finest Bay Area has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese. Should it think twice?
A tunnel full of possibilities
For Äripäev the Chinese involvement is good news:
“The Chinese interest should be viewed as an opportunity, but should be handled wisely. The tunnel would bring innovation to the region and revive the economy, but the risks for the environment and security must be considered. The Estonian and Finnish governments should now take their own steps to advance the tunnel project. ... Given the costs and the implications of the project and the global ambitions of the investors, we must act with the support of the EU. ... The Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel would be the longest undersea tunnel in the world and an object of interest in itself. But above all the economic impact is key - two small cities on the periphery would become a regional metropolis.”
The alarm bells should be ringing
We must be careful when it comes to Chinese investors, warns Ilta-Sanomat:
“Chinese money is building infrastructure in those places which China sees as most advantageous for its interests. Despite its global players, China is a state-run economy in which companies implement the plans and strategies of the Communist party leadership. ... In view of the fact that China is led by the president and party leader Xi Jinping, who dreams of establishing China as a superpower, the surfacing of Chinese money in the Finnish-Estonian tunnel project shouldn't simply be accepted with a shrug.”