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China's High-speed train system derailed by corruption, economy

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Hembo, Feb 23, 2012.

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  1. Hembo

    Hembo OLD MOD STAR MEMBER

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    High-speed train system derailed by corruption, economy
    By Malcolm Moore, Daily Telegraph February 22, 2012


    China's high-speed rail project, one of the world's most impressive feats of engineering, has run out of money and will be scaled back significantly this year.

    More than two-thirds of 23 railway projects have been suspended, partly suspended, or delayed, according to the Chinese state media. A source told the Dow Jones news agency that only nine new lines would be commissioned this year, compared with 70 in 2011.

    By the end of this year, China's high-speed network is likely to cover more than 9,600 km, transporting hundreds of millions of passengers in spacious long-nosed bullet trains. At the height of the boom, trains were being fitted with washrooms that cost $180,000 each, according to an investigation by Century Weekly magazine.

    However, the network suffered a blow last July when two trains collided, killing 40 and injuring almost 200.

    A few months before, Liu Zhijun, China's railway minister, was fired and now faces corruption charges. Zhang Shuguang, the deputy chief engineer, who is also under investigation, reportedly paid $850,000 for a house in Los Angeles while on a limited salary. Questions were raised about how much of the $300-billion high-speed rail budget had been siphoned off.

    And after the crash, the ministry found it increasingly expensive to borrow money, and no longer had access to stimulus loans handed out after the financial crisis to keep the Chinese economy going.

    Crash threatens China’s high-speed ambitions - FT.com

    This article says China Railway has debt of Rmb1,980bn ($307bn)
     
  2. Hembo

    Hembo OLD MOD STAR MEMBER

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    China slows down high-speed trains by 50 km/h

    BEIJING, (Xinhuanet) – China's high-speed trains are cutting back trips, slowing down and slashing prices at the order of the State Council. The cutbacks, which start on Tuesday, focus on the Beijing-Shanghai Railway, and coastal railway lines of Ningbo-Taizhou-Wenzhou, Wenzhou-Fuzhou, and Wenzhou-Xiamen in Zhejiang Province. The decision was made after last month's deadly train crash near Wenzhou.

    Not as fast as before, but much safer.

    China's speedy trains slow down on Tuesday as a new operation system takes effect
     
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