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Friday, March 6, 2015, 11:43

Railway cooperation with Thailand on fast track

By Xinhua

BEIJING - A senior Chinese railway official on Thursday dismissed rumors that the high-speed railway cooperation between Beijing and Bangkok has stalled, saying that it is going well.

The latest comment came amid recent media reports that China and Thailand suspended their high-speed railway cooperation over Thailand's political turmoil and foreign competition.

"Our cooperation is desirable," said Sheng Guangzu, general manager of the China Railway Corporation (CRC). "We are rapidly advancing our cooperation."

Chinese and Thai governments agreed to build Thailand's first standard-gauge railway lines with a total length of more than 800 km last year.

China has been encouraging projects that export Chinese industrial capacity and equipment, including the high-speed train that is the pride of the rising world's second largest economy, under a "win-win" principle.

On Thursday, China announced that it will invest at least 800 billion yuan (US$130 billion) in railway construction this year.

Sheng, a deputy to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, said that the investment will be mainly targeting the country's vast central and western regions that is lagging far behind the southeastern coasts in infrastructure construction.

In 2013, China dismantled its Ministry of Railways into administrative and commercial arms to reduce bureaucracy and improve railway service efficiency. CRC is responsible for railway transportation dispatch and command, freight and passenger transport business management and railway construction.

Sheng said that CRC will consider going listed in the stock market if conditions are right to make the railway giant operate in a more market-oriented manner.

"We are also considering the mixed ownership reform," he said. "We hope that through the investment and financing system reform, more private investment can participate in China's railway construction."

 
 
 
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