CHINA> National
Accusations of train tech-stealing denied
Updated: 2009-01-10 17:38

China did not steal train manufacturing technology from the West and is not closing its domestic train market to foreign bidders.

That was a statement made Saturday by China's Ministry of Railways spokesman Wang Yongping. He was responding to media reports that Philippe Mellier, chief executive of Alstom Transport, made accusations against China.

Last Friday, Mellier was reported as saying Chinese companies were exporting trains using technology stolen from western suppliers in the Financial Times.

He also called for a boycott of Chinese train exports claiming China blocked bids from foreign manufacturers.

If Mellier really made those accusations, his remarks were irresponsible, Wang told the press conference. "China has been innovative and formed its own train brand after joint technology development with overseas manufacturers."

"Foreign companies gained commercial benefits from the cooperation and we gained our own technologies. The property rights belong to Chinese companies," Wang said.

"China has been cooperating with companies from Germany, France, Japan, as well as Canada and learned the technologies of making high-speed trains with an average speed of 300 km per hour. Then we managed to manufacture the new-generation train, which boasts an average speed of 350 km per hour. There is no such thing as stealing western technologies."

Wang also said the accusation of closing China's market to foreign manufacturers was baseless.

"China's railway market is open to the outside," he said. "Technological cooperation with many foreign companies has been going well. We expect further cooperation."

Nearly all major train manufacturers have entered the Chinese market. Alstom, the world's second-largest train-maker, won an order to supply 500 locomotives to China in March 2007, in collaboration with a Chinese firm.