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Ministry denies ordering Japan bullet trains
By Cao Desheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-23 06:19

The Ministry of Railways yesterday denied that China will order 60 high-speed trains from a Japanese consortium after a Japanese news agency reported that China was close to sealing a deal.

"We also learnt of the news from the media report," said a press official from the railways, refusing to comment further.

Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported on Monday that China is moving closer to placing an order with a Japanese consortium for 60 high-speed trains for a new railway system after doing the same with a German group earlier this month.

The Japanese high-speed trains will be modelled after East Japan Railway Co's "Hayate" Shinkansen trains, and their orders will be placed with the six-company group, including Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, the Japanese news agency quoted an anonymous industry source as saying.

The article said Kawasaki had no immediate comment on the reported deal, the value of which was not specified.

The Hayate-model bullet trains, which run in northern Japan, were introduced in 2002 and operate at a speed of about 275 kilometres per hour.

China is preparing for the construction of 2,000 kilometres of high-speed rails by 2020, and competition for the projects is becoming increasingly fierce among Japan's Shinkansen, France's TGV and Germany's ICE trains with the most advanced high-speed rail technology available in the world.

Germany-based Siemens AG last week won a contract to supply 60 high-speed trains to China and put the value of its deal at 669 million euros (US$785 million) during a state visit to Germany by President Hu Jintao.

(China Daily 11/23/2005 page2)

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