Indian Bullet Train to bring huge benefits to Indian and China

BEIJING: A proposed Chinese-built ‘bullet train’ line from Delhi to Chennai could bring about “untold dividends” for India and China, even as Indian Railways officials are here to explore the possibility of building the $32 billion mega project.

“A successful China-India rail partnership could yield “untold dividends for both sides”, an article in state-run Global Times said here today as China looks to showcase its new high-speed rail technology to the world.

A railway ministry team is in China to discuss the Chinese offer to conduct a feasibility study for the 1,754-km Chennai-Delhi line which could cost over $32 billion.

If it works out this could be the first such project abroad for China which has the world’s largest high-speed rail network.

A suggestion that China might partner with India to provide high-speed rail has not yet been well-received by the Indian public, the article said referring to Japan undertaking a similar study on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector.

Earlier this month, the Mexican government abruptly cancelled a $3.7 billion contract for a high-speed rail project with Chinese firms due to suspected corruption on the Mexican side, which shocked and frustrated the Chinese market.

“This underscores the harsh reality Chinese high-speed railway contractors face as they attempt to penetrate overseas markets.

“Nevertheless, say railway experts, as long as the risks inherent in such projects are not underestimated, even to the extent that contracts must sometimes be abandoned, these projects will not only benefit society, but also provide much-needed economic stimulus”, it said.

Another article in the same daily said India should take over some manufacturing sectors from China, just as the Chinese mainland once did from Japan and the four Asian Tigers, namely, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.

“If India can follow China’s steps in a steadfast manner, there is hope that it will surpass the current biggest international manufacturing hub,” it said.

And if the two countries can draw up a plan of comprehensive cooperation in manufacturing, it will exert far-reaching influence upon the changes in the Asia-Pacific architecture, it said.

“The global manufacturing chain has now been fully segmented. What India needs to move into are the products China has been making but lacks advantages in doing so compared with India,” the article said.

“In other words, China’s sunset industries are where India’s hope lies. Chinese corporations that manufacture these products can bring not only capital and order, but also technologies, managerial expertise, market and support in other arenas,” it said.