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Asean Affairs    30  September  2011

Chinese trains for Asean?

By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     30  September 2011

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Several Asean countries, especially those on continental Asia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand are looking at the development of high-speed rail systems produced by China, with high investment by the Chinese government.

However, a major collision near the eastern city of Wenzhou in July that killed at least 40 people has chilled to a degree China’s drive to export its high-speed technology.

Unfortunately, more bad news and train snafus continue to emanate from China.

On Tuesday, two subway trains in Shanghai crashed in an accident that reportedly injured more than 240, mostly lightly, and was caused by a signal failure. The failure of signals was also cited in the more deadly Wenzhou incident, as well.

Topping all of these incidents, Chinese police are investigating the beating death of a train passenger in east China, apparently caused by the train staff.

Three train staff seized the middle-aged man by the throat and savagely beat him after he intervened in an argument involving another passenger, Jiangxi Television, a local station, reported on Monday

The television report showed a document signed by 20 other passengers, acting as witnesses, who observed the beating.

Such continuing bad news can only dampen Chinese efforts to export its train technology to others parts of Asia and the world.

It is also reported that some Chinese firms involved in the high-speed train business in China are near bankruptcy following the continuing stream of bad news.



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