China Unicom Chairman, Mr. CHANG Xiaobing, visited Taiwan and signed on January 13, 2010 the Construction and Maintenance Agreement for Taiwan Strait Express-1 (TSE-1), for the construction of the first communication system directly linking Taiwan and Mainland China.

The consortium consists of China Unicom and four members from Taiwan, including Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far Eastone,and Taiwan International Gateway (TIGC). It is said, China Telecom and China Mobile are going to join the consortium later. The construction cost of TSE-1 is expected to be about US$30 million.

The under way first submarine cable between Taiwan and Mainland China is going to land at  Tanshui, Taiwan, and Changle, Fuzhou, Fujian Province of China. The TSE submarine cable is about 260 Km, consists of 8 optical fiber pairs. The design capacity of TSE-1 submarine cable system will be at least 5.12 Tbps. TSE-1 is expected to be ready for service in early 2012.

The TSE-1 consortium aims to offer huge, reliable, short latency and cost-effective capacity to meet the communication requirements across the Strait. Even more significantly, it will contribute to real direct telecommunications between Taiwan and Mainland China, following the direct mail, direct trade and direct airlines across the Strait.

It is said, though the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the Ministry of Information Industry of the People's Republic of China have approved the TSE-1 project, there is still pending for approval by Taiwan local government.