BEIJING, March 12 -- Less than two years after China's first high-speed railway went into operation, the country is now planning to extend its rail network beyond its borders, a project that will involve 17 nations, a Ministry of Railways spokesman confirmed to the Global Times Thursday.
The international rail network will boost the exchange of trade and promote China's newly acquired high-speed railway technology, likely the next brand of "Made in China" comparable to world competitors, experts say.
Initial negotiations with some countries are already underway, the spokesman said, without disclosing what progress had been made or details of the routes.
The information was first revealed by Wang Mengshu, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, who said Sunday that China plans to construct a high-speed railway system that will travel across Asia and Europe by 2025.
Wang told the Global Times yesterday that China began construction of the domestic part of one route, which will travel across Southeast Asia, several years ago. The line starts in Kunming in Yunnan Province and runs south, as far as Singapore. Negotiations with parties in Myanmar and Singapore have gone smoothly he said.
According to Wang, a second route will start in Urumqi, the capital of the XinjiangUyghur Autonomous Region, and connect Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan with Germany. A third line will connect the city of Heilongjiang in northern China with Eastern and Southern European countries via Russia.