China’s leading high-speed company China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation will be bidding for the United Kingdom’s new high-speed rail project High Speed 2, alongside companies from France, Germany, and Japan.
The HS2 project is worth an estimated £11.8bn with the competition including high-profile companies such as Japan’s Hitachi, France’s Alstom, and Germany’s Siemens. The bidding was opened up to Chinese companies by British Chancellor George Osborne last month in Chengdu.
The current UK government has been trying hard to develop close ties with China. The current UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his intention to create a “golden age of Sino-British relations.” This coincides with President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK, the first time a Chinese leader has dropped by in the past 10 years. It is expected that President Xi will announce further Chinese investment into the UK during his trip.
China has been embarking on a series of high-speed train projects lately with the most recent project announced being a proposed line from Beijing to Hong Kong. There is no limit to China’s train building ambitions with other proposed projects including a train to Singapore and even a train connecting China to the US.
Of course, it should be noted that if China’s bid is successful, the trains they will provide will come with certain rather delicate Chinese characteristics that some in Britain see as a significant drawback.
By Hasanali Pirbhai
[Images via Xinhua/China Daily]