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Rail technology could be China’s global calling card

Luo Wangshu
Updated: Jan 6,2017 9:18 AM     China Daily

China is fully prepared to export a full supply chain of high-speed railway technology, according to industry experts.

China Railway Corp, the national rail operator, said exports of railway equipment and railway construction projects are proceeding well, and breakthroughs are being made in a number of projects overseas.

Among the projects, the first full-chain commission, the Jakarta to Bandung high-speed railway in Indonesia-which includes technology, design, construction, equipment manufacture, supply of resources, operations management and staff training-has been granted a construction permit and work is proceeding smoothly.

“China’s railways have established a comprehensive and advanced technology system, which is able to provide overseas customers with solutions from many different perspectives, including financing, construction, operations, and research and development,” said Yang Zhongmin, the CRC’s deputy chief engineer, who added that China’s railway system is competitive in terms of technology and economy of use.

According to Yang, the nation’s railway equipment and infrastructure service businesses have entered markets in Asia, Europe, North America and Africa.

Last year, Joko Widodo, president of Indonesia, and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, rode Chinese-made bullet trains.

Yang Hao, a professor of rail transportation management at Beijing Jiaotong University, said China has a major advantage in that it is able to export a full range of railway technology: “For example, it is inconvenient to import the technology for the signaling system from one country and civil engineering technology from another.”

Last year, China’s high-speed rail project made progress in its “going-out” policy.

In November, when he met with the prime ministers of Hungary and Serbia, Premier Li Keqiang said China is willing to continue helping with the construction of the flagship Budapest to Belgrade railway.

The line will have a total length of 350 km, and trains will reach a maximum speed of 200 km per hour.

“China learned about high-speed railway technology from foreign countries, but now it has mastered and developed ‘home-made’ core technology. The country’s high-speed rail technology is advanced, and the diverse environment covered and massive operational experience have proved that,” said Yu Zhanfu, principal of the Beijing office of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

Yang, from Beijing Jiaotong University, said the going-out plan for China’s high-speed railways will follow the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization, a think tank in Beijing, said: “Like the US-made Boeing 77 and France’s Airbus, China’s high-speed railway could be an important project to help the country export its technology in the future.”

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