China to order 60 bullet trains

AFP

China will order 60 bullet trains from a Japanese consortium led by
Kawasaki
Heavy Industries as Beijing turns to both Japanese and German firms to
expand its rail network.
The Railways Ministry will buy 60 bullet trains from the Kawasaki-led
consortium to run in China as early as 2008, the Yomiuri Shimbun said
on its
evening edition on Monday.
The orders will be placed as part of a project to increase the speed of
China’s trains, Kyodo News said, citing industry sources. Kawasaki had
no
immediate comment on the reported deal, the value of which was not
specified.
The report said China, looking to introduce high-speed trains, had
chosen to
buy half in the form of Japan’s Hayate bullet train system and half
from a
system run by German engineering giant, Siemens. Siemens said last
week it
had won a contract to supply 60 high-speed trains to China, and had put
the
value of its deal at $824 million.
The Hayate-model bullet trains, which run in northern Japan, were
introduced
in 2002 and operate at a speed of about 275km an hour.
Rail link
State media in China has said Beijing wants to use foreign technology
to set
up a high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai, which will help
to overcome serious transport bottlenecks.
Japanese politicians and business leaders have aggressively courted
their
Chinese counterparts to win the contract. The sale has also been
politically
sensitive at a time when relations between China and Japan are at their
lowest level in decades, in part over memories of World War II.
Japan has reportedly offered to include the bullet train deal as part
of its
final low-interest loans to China. Japan plans to end such loans –
which
have been seen as an indirect compensation for its wartime record on
the
mainland – before Beijing hosts the Olympics in 2008.
Japan’s bullet train was introduced before the 1964 Tokyo Summer
Olympics,
showcasing the country’s rapid technological advances since its defeat
in
World War II.


http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/675553B1-B7F8-4818-90E7-81DF061D15D6.
htm

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