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Overseas views on NPC & CPCC: German and Chinese train technologies rise higher in Belt & Road era

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

03-15-2016 15:10 BJT

Editor's note: The National People's Congress (NPC), China's top parliamentary body, and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, have convened its annual sessions, known as the "two sessions" on March 3-16 2016, which marks a pivotal year as the nation continues on to embark with its reforms and opening up policy, shifting towards a "New Normal" for economic growth rates, starting its 13th Five-Year Plan for social and economic development over the next five years and confronting challenges on the foreign policy front. How will the NPC address those concerns? What do foreign experts and Overseas Chinese say? The Panview Column of CNTV has invited some of them to express their views on major issues to be discussed at the ongoing two sessions.

By von Ralf Ostner, an Open-Source Analyst, based in Munich, Germany

German train technology stood as one of the global leaders in the past few decades, along with American, French and Japanese train technology. However new developments in China have put an end to that stage.

The leading train technology firms in Germany are Siemens, Adtranz, owned by Daimler but sold to Canadian Bombadier in 2001 and Thyssen-Krupp. They produce the InterCityExpress (ICE), which runs at speeds up to 320 km/h.

The French TGV and Japanese Shinkasen run faster than the ICE. Accordingly, Germany had developed the trans-rapid, a high-speed train at 420 km/h, but with maglev technology. China purchased German trans-rapid technology and built a trans-rapid line from Pudong to Shanghai airport/Longyang.

Beijing had ambitious plans to build a trans-rapid line from Shanghai inner city to Hangzhou and Beijing, but canceled them to rely on more conventional high speed train technology. 

Before the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, some Chinese railways were already operating with German ICE technology, including the high-speed railways from Beijing to Tianjin and other cities.

Today the Trans-rapid in Shanghai has become a futuristic tourist attraction, but not an effective means of mass mobility.  Meanwhile, China has strengthened its position in train technology worldwide.

China's two train technology leaders - China Northern Railway (Beiche/CNR) and China Southern Railway (Nanche/CSR) - have merged into one entity.

Hence, China Railways holds a strong position on train technology in China and even more prepared to enter the world market.  China already has its own high-speed train technology, which could prevail over Western technology in the near future. 

A report in the People's Daily says that China has developed Permanent-magnet-Synchronmotor (PSM) technology for trains to reach speeds at 500 km/h, or faster and developed by CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Research Institute in Hunan Province.

They would run faster than the French TGV and Japanese Shinkansen, which are faster than the German ICE and Trans-rapid.  Additionally, China's Belt & Road initiative (New Silk Road) includes plans for massive expansion of infrastructure and railway systems in Asia, Central Asia, Europe and Africa that would create a huge market for Chinese train technology.

One project that has been built is a railway from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality to Dusseldorf, Germany. It won't be the last project either.

China and the European Union have signed a framework agreement to coordinate with the Belt & Road to construct more infrastructures for the EU, which would create new spheres of cooperation between them.

Von Ralf Ostner, an Open-Source Analyst, also German-Chinese translator with a diploma in Political Science, based in Munich, Germany.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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