Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Inside China's high-speed cover-up of weekend disaster

FOR Japan's high-speed rail industry, last weekend's crash in China was no real surprise.

Those behind Japan's Shinkansen, which has not had a single fatality since it began in 1964, had their fingers burned when they took their technology to China.

After collaborating on early projects, they say China stole their technology and froze them out as it looked to establish a vast domestic network as well as an export industry in high-speed rail.

In the wake of this bitter experience, they warned loudly of safety fears and doubts over Chinese operating practices and effectively withdrew from all collaboration in China.

While it looked at the time suspiciously like sour grapes as China surged ahead with its plans to build the world's largest high-speed rail network, last weekend's crash has shown how prescient the fears were. (more)