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Welcome Address

Welcome Address

Distinguished colleagues and friends,

A great poet in ancient China once said," A bosom friend afar brings a distant land near." It means that under the sky, we are all friends and neighbours. What brings us together here today is the common passion for tunnelling and underground space.

As an ITA member, the China Civil Engineering Society (CCES) was established in 1912 and currently has nearly 1,000 corporate and 100,000 individual members. In the field of civil engineering, it is committed to promoting the development of technology and related disciplines, the popularization of science and technology, the cultivation of scientific and technological talents, and the close integration of economy with science & technology, thus making great contributions to the country’s development.

The CCES joined ITA in 1979, and has been actively participating in ITA activities on behalf of China. In September 1990, China hosted the World Tunnel Congress and the 16th ITA General Assembly in Chengdu. It was the first time the conference was held in China. Besides, in November 2018, the 4th ITA Tunnelling Awards was held in Chuzhou, Anhui Province, China.

As is well-known, China is still a developing country, and its economic development relies heavily on infrastructure construction. The construction of tunnelling and underground works is one of the major tasks with huge potential for China to undertake. China has achieved a lot in the development of tunnels and underground spaces thanks to its unremitting efforts over many decades. At present, the total length of railway, highway, and subway tunnels in operation in China adds up to 42,187 km. There are also many major tunnel projects under construction, including TBM tunnels, immersed tube tunnels, subway tunnels, road tunnels, railway tunnels, underground utility tunnels, and urban underground spaces, making China an ideal place to host the World Tunnel Congress.

Since its inception in 1974, the ITA has made concerted efforts to provide its members with excellent platforms for learning and exchanges. Through WTC’s, ITA Awards, training programs, and publications, it has greatly promoted the improvement of global tunnelling activities and underground space use, and China is one of the main beneficiaries of these ITA activities. Many countries and international experts have greatly assisted China over the past few decades, and we will always remember with gratitude those friends who extended a helping hand to us. China’s tunnelling and underground space sector still needs the support and help of the international community, especially that of the ITA. It is a great honour for CCES to host WTC2024 and ITA General Assembly, and CCES will be committed to promoting friendship and cooperation among ITA members, and improving tunnelling and underground space technology.

We look forward to seeing you all in Shenzhen, China in 2024!