Business / Industries

Full speed ahead for high speed rail expansion

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-29 10:32

Boosted by President Xi Jinping's Silk Road belt and road initiatives, China is currently in negotiations with 28 nations, most of which are along the trade route. Should discussions bear fruit, a network of over 5,000 km is on the cards.

The Silk Road economic belt and the 21st century maritime Silk Road are a land-based belt from China via Central Asia and Russia to Europe; and a maritime route through the Strait of Malacca to India, the Middle East and East Africa.

China is also considering another ambitious proposal, initially raised by Wang Mengshu, which would see a HSR line originating in Beijing that passes through Siberia, Alaska and Canada before reaching the US.

The China-US trip would see a 200-km underwater tunnel constructed beneath the Bering Strait and the trip would take less than two days, according to Wang.

The project, which is technically feasible, demands serious negotiation among the nations concerned, not to mention substantial financial support, Wang said.

But China's HSR dream has not been without its setbacks. In November, Mexico annulled a deal of a Chinese built 210 km HSR line connecting Mexico City with the industrial hub of Queretaro to the north, the first time China would have built an entire HSR system overseas.

At home, a deadly crash in July 2011, which claimed 40 lives in East China, and a series of corruption cases have also cast a shadow over HSR expansion.

Despite these setbacks, China continues, full speed ahead.

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