Foreign and Military Affairs

Russia invites China for high-speed rail co-op

Updated: 2011-07-02 22:54
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MOSCOW - As Russia expands its railway construction, China could enjoy greater cooperation potential with Moscow in the sector, especially on high-speed rail projects, says the president of the state-run Russian Railways company.

Vladimir Yakunin told Xinhua that based on China's rich experience in railway construction and the mature mechanism of technology exchange between the two countries, China would have good chances of winning in the public bidding on major Russian railway projects. Those projects include the Moscow-St. Petersburg high-speed railway, the first in Russia.

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Meanwhile, Russia is working on the overall blueprint for a national high-speed rail system before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Yakunin said.

"These projects are all ambitious, in terms of both investment and construction scale. I believe Russia and China have a very broad space for future cooperation, and I also think Chinese companies have good chances to win (in the bidding)," he said.

According to local media reports, the Russian Railway has announced it will invest 30 billion U.S. dollars to build high speed railways.

Yakunin said all of the high-speed railway projects in Russia would be open for public bidding.

He also said that because Russia has outlined its railway transport development strategy to the year 2030, the advanced railway equipment and technology from China and other countries will be needed.

Besides, Chinese investors are also welcome to join the privatization of the Russian Railways company, which is planned to sell part of its shares starting from 2013, Yakunin said.

Applauding China's advantages and achievements in railway construction, Yakunin said his Russian colleagues especially admire China's remarkable success in building the highland Qinghai-Tibet railway, a high-altitude railway that links Qinghai province and Tibet region in west China.

The railway departments and companies of China and Russia should further strengthen their cooperation in mutual investment, technology research and personnel exchanges, he said.

Russia and China inked in 2009 a memorandum of understanding on jointly developing the high-speed railway system in Russia.