Many Reasons To Worry About China's Record-Fast Alpine Train

China Bullet Train

Photo: via xinhuanet

China’s successfully tested its new “bullet train” just hours ago Monday — what it’s calling the world’s first alpine high-speed rail line “which threads the through the country’s three northeastern provinces.”The train can reportedly travel upward of 200 mph in temperatures as little as negative 40 degrees Celsius. It can exceed 300 mph when pushed to its top speed.

Xinhaunet has the story, which essentially reads like a government press release.

Here’s part of the about page of Xinhuanet:

Sponsored by the Xinhua News Agency, Xinhuanet is an important central news service-oriented website, an important information organ of the central government, and an important platform for building up China’s online international communication capacity.

Bullet Train China

Photo: via xinhuanet

But state-run media companies have been critical of the government and the program, and certain officials in western and Japanese fields have accused China of conducting espionage to gain the technology necessary to build the train. Those officials say there’s no other way to explain China’s incredible leaps in engineering know-how.National Geographic also recently reported on the bullet train and China’s efforts since 2007 to update its ailing and ageing public train system, calling their effort “an engineering blitzkrieg meant to awe the Chinese people and show off the nation’s new industrial might.”

Ian Johnson of NatGeo reports that the railway may be superficially a gem in Chinese government’s hat, but beneath the fanfare lies a less complimentary truth:

Less impressive have been the costs—financial and human. Last year two events happened that continue to shake the railway system and China as a whole. One was the detention of China’s once powerful railway minister, Liu Zhijun, an old-style communist central planner who rolled out the high-speed network like a general using human-wave tactics.

Bullet Train China

Photo: via xinhuanet

Johnson goes in depth into the government corruption, displaced Chinese citizens, and terrible high speed railway crashes, problems that the Chinese government has had to mitigate since the start of the program in 2007 and the upcoming completion date this year.NOW SEE: The Air Force Recently Released It’s Cold-War Plans To Build A Flying Saucer >

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