High-speed train technology supports diplomatic efforts

By Lin Xu Source:Global Times Published: 2013-11-27 23:48:02

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang invited his 16 counterparts from Central and Eastern European countries to attend a special exhibition featuring China's high-speed railway technology and infrastructure construction in Romania on Tuesday. A day earlier, Li concluded an agreement over the construction of a railway between Hungary and Serbia.

Last month in Bangkok, Premier Li also introduced China's high-speed train technology and called to make cooperation in high-speed railway projects "a new highlight" for the bilateral strategic cooperation.

Li is the first Chinese premier visiting Romania in 19 years, and deepening ties between China and Central and Eastern Europe through his visit undoubtedly attracts close attentions from geopolitical analysts who hold that China's "march West" ambition targets Central and Eastern Europe as a gateway to the EU. However, the expanding cooperation in trade, investment and infrastructure meets the demands of both since their economies are highly complementary to each other. 

Compared with Western European developed countries, the diverse Central and Eastern European countries are new emerging economies. They are in dire need of funds and equipment to upgrade their infrastructure. In the past decades, due to a lack of advanced technology and intellectual property rights, the Chinese manufacturing industry was positioned in the downstream of the global industrial chain. But now, exports of China's high-end manufacturing products such as precision instruments and drilling platforms rank first in the world.  

Chinese high-end manufacturing products, high-speed trains in particular, are ready to go global and should gain more support from the government. The 2008 financial crisis made Western countries fully reflect on the decisive role of real economy in the national economy. Many have issued plans to revitalize their manufacturing industry and make further innovation. US President Barack Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address called to guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made in the US.

The Chinese manufacturing industry will face fiercer competition in the future. Therefore, maximizing the potential of new emerging markets such as those in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America is particularly important. In those places, which have considerable demands on equipment and infrastructure construction, Chinese products also have more comparative advantages. 

To strengthen China's high-end manufacturing industry's competitiveness, China needs to build its brands. Perhaps the high-speed railway is the very point to make the breakthrough. Premier Li's introduction of China's high-speed railways overseas is a strong incentive and solid backing to China's manufacturing industry.

Posted in: Observer

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