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FAST TRAIN FOR CHINESE ECONOMIC RECOVERY ON FAST TRACK

Since the 2008 financial crisis many countries are searching for speedy economic
solutions to lead us out of the worst world economic down turn since the 1929
depression. In President Obama’s 2010 state of the union speech he unleashed plans for
pushing America fast train deployment ahead starting with eight billion dollar loan
guarantee to Florida. He even mentioned China’s fast train progress and potential export
market in his speech. For the first time since 1949 a U.S. president mentioned China in a
state of the union speech in a positive till without criticism. Hopefully the fast train will
also help American recovery.

Following news headlines from China Daily clearly indicates that China is moving full
steam ahead to speed up her fast train deployment nationwide;

“The much anticipated Beijing to Shanghai fast train will start operation one year ahead
of original schedule in 2010 because of the stimulation package. The 12 hour trip will
now be only three hours.”

“At least ten new rail projects are being planned or constructed in the west now, which
eventually lead to the Beibu Gulf region, the "gate" for western provinces to go to the
sea. With a new rail network, even Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the far
western inland will no longer be far from the coast.”

“China already has 6,552 km of rail track in operation – the most high-speed rail track in
the world. Ultimately, China plans to construct a 120,000-km railway network, including
50,000-km of high-speed rail track, by 2020.”

“China now wants to export China's high-speed railway technology to North America,
Europe and Latin America. State-owned Chinese companies are already building high-
speed lines in Turkey and Venezuela. Many countries, including the United States,
Russia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, have also expressed interest.”

It appears that China’s fast train network and export potential is reminiscent of the
successful American automobile, commercial airline development and Internet
communication explosion during the 20th Century. In each case America has the internal
market as initial launching pad to jump start ahead of the world. America with her vast
North American continent land mass in each of the above cases was able to fully utilize
her market and manufacturing resources to become leader of the world in those
important industries.

In my field of study, the commercial airline space, America the dynamic young country
after Second World War was able to attract many talented scientists from Europe and
Asia to help build the biggest aerospace industrial center in the world. As international
commercial air travel expands Europe was caught unprepared to play catch up. Half a
century later America still dominates the commercial airline industry.
Three decades ago America realized she was behind Japan and Europe in fast train
deployment because of her over reliance on the automobile. Because of oil crisis there
was a general interest to explore the use of fast train to complement airline travel. One
of the promising routes is the heavily used corridor between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
The author had the opportunity to be involved with the Las Vegas city planning
commission as a consultant. Unfortunately despite active promotion and considerable
interest the project did not materialize. Now the project has lost its luster and imitative
especially in this economic down turn. Unless there will be Federal stimulus funding as
the case in Florida the project will not happen because of lack of funding.

In the fast train case, China’s large and difficult land mass and huge population call for
more rail than automobile travel. Her government funded policy of long range
infrastructure planning also is paying off. Over the last two decades she was willing to
pay for Japan, German and France technology to build on. Today she has developed her
own proprietary fast train industry with over 900 relevant international high speed train
patents. Chinese companies plan to bid for contracts of building high-speed railways in the
United States as China is willing to share its advanced technologies.

The future of fast train world market looks bright as the concern for energy conservation is
growing. With China’s head start and her difficult terrain and huge domestic market she will
continue to build momentum. FAST TRAIN WILL SURE BE THE LOCOMOTIVE
FOR CHINESE ECONOMIC RECOVERY ON FAST TRACK.

Francis C W Fung, Ph.D.


Director General
World Harmony Organization
San Francisco, CA
francis@wsorldharmonyorg.net