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The region around the Bohai coast, i.e., the four provinces of Shandong, Shaanxi, Hebei, and Liaoning, the major cities of Beijing and Tianjin, and a portion of Inner Mongolia, is potentially one of the richest in China. Although the region comprises only 12% of the land surface, about 20% of the Chinese population live there. And these 240 million people produce one-fourth of the total Chinese production: The Bohai coast is the center of China's heavy and machine-tool industry, and includes its second-largest oil and gas reserves, and third-largest chemical industry center. Moreover, the region is part of the northeast Asian economic zone, encompassing China, Japan, North and South Korea, and the Russian Far East. Plans exist to develop seven ports along this C-shaped coast. Central to this development strategy is to connect the peninsular provinces of Shandong and Liaoning by means of a 57-km bridge, cutting some 2,000 km from circumvention of the Bohai coast, which will act as an ideal connector between the northern European Land-Bridge through Russia and the southern Eurasian Land-Bridge through China. The project entails several bridges and a long tunnel; a railway bridging the expanse will connect Dalian, the main port of Liaoning, to Yantai in Shandong.