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China could help US rebuild aging infrastructure, think tank says

Zhong Nan and Ren Xiaojin
Updated: Apr 6,2017 9:17 AM     China Daily

China and the United States will both benefit if they work together on infrastructure construction, a top think tank reported on April 5.

The report is titled Infrastructure Cooperation: New Opportunities for US-China Relations and published by Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization. It explains how several projects in which Chinese companies have entered the US market are helping the US government meet goals set by President Donald Trump during his campaign.

It said that as Trump plans to develop transportation and energy facilities, build a next-generation internet network and improve veterans hospitals, the US needs Chinese businesses to put these big-ticket projects into place.

Chinese firms, such as China State Construction Engineering Corp and China Communications Construction Co, have already been helping the US upgrade some projects, including the New York City subway in Manhattan, the subway station near Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, a coliseum in South Carolina and a massive entertainment hotel and casino in New Jersey.

“Chinese construction and railway vehicle companies have made impressive inroads into the US market with their quality products, advanced management expertise and comprehensive after-sales services. They are making contributions to the US economy by improving the country’s infrastructure,” said Wang Huiyao, the think tank’s president.

The US is coming to grips with its aging bridges, rail lines, tunnels and roads, ranking 19th in infrastructure development, according to the Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum.

The US consulting firm Rhodium Group said that from 2013 to 2030, the US will have to spend $8.2 trillion upgrading its infrastructure.

The report predicted Trump’s plans will further motivate Chinese heavy equipment manufacturing conglomerates to expand into the US market.

Chinese companies can earn decent returns from the US market, and as a result could open more subsidiaries in the country to directly invest in infrastructure projects in the US. This would not only create growth in the US, but also enable Chinese companies to expand their presence in more developed markets.

CRRC Sifang America, an arm of railway equipment manufacturer China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, broke ground in Chicago on a $100 million plant to build rail cars for the city’s transit authority last month.

CRRC also started to build a $95 million plant in Massachusetts to build rail cars for Boston’s transit authority in 2015. Completion of the plant is scheduled this year.

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