News >China

Logic in Telegraph commentary not 'sound'

2011-08-08 08:29

LONDON - The Chinese embassy in the UK on Saturday dismissed a Daily Telegraph commentary, which claimed China's recent railway accident signals that its economy may also derail, as using unsound logic and added that China will learn from the disaster.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, Chinese embassy spokesperson Dai Qingli wrote: "If his line of argument was sound, then shall we conclude that, heaven forbid, any crash of a Boeing or Airbus jet should be seen as a harbinger of the decline of America or Europe?"

The 530-word letter was posted on the paper's website and a condensed version was published in the paper.

The commentary, which was published on July 29 in the Daily Telegraph's business pages, said the July railway accident in China was a sign that its economy "may even be about to come off the rails entirely".

The "rail crash can be seen as a harbinger of wider economic catastrophe to come", it said.

On July 23, two high-speed trains crashed in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. The accident killed 40 people and injured more than 190 others.

Premier Wen Jiabao later visited the crash site and ordered a swift and transparent probe into the accident. A special team has started investigating the accident and is expected to publish its findings before the end of September.

A preliminary investigation showed that design flaws in the railway signal equipment led to the crash.

"All accidents may be preventable, but they do unfortunately occur from time to time in different countries," Dai said in her letter.

She cited several examples: a derailed German bullet train accident in 1998 killing 101 people, the 2002 Potters Bar crash in the UK claiming seven lives and Japan's Amagasaki rail accident in 2005 leaving 107 dead.

The investigation led by the Chinese government "will be an open, transparent process leading to a clear and convincing account of what went wrong and the lessons that can be learned", she wrote.

"A brave man learns lessons from failure. Adversity makes a nation stronger ... Disasters throughout history have made the Chinese people more firm, more capable and wiser."

The spokesperson said it is illogical to use one accident to write off China's success in railway development, much less blame China's social system and path of development and conclude that the Chinese economy may derail.

She said the Chinese know the scale of the challenges the country faces and has made precise proposals in China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), which will lead to a restructured economy and improved growth model that will place greater emphasis on quality and efficiency.

Critics have been predicting China's collapse for decades but the predictions have failed to materialize, she added.

"The train of China's development is moving in the right direction with a powerful engine and improved, dependable safety system. It will keep moving forward. It will carry the Chinese people into a future of prosperity and bring the world more opportunities. There is every reason for the world to have confidence in China," she said.

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