fredag 1. februar 2019

Debt trap could derail China’s high-speed train network

They are a symbol of China’s technological prowess and the envy of the world. But the amazing web of high-speed trains is glued together by debt. After a funding frenzy during the past decade, the world’s second-largest economy now has the world’s largest railway network.

Covering 127,000 kilometers, or 78,900 miles, it could circumnavigate the planet three times. Moreover, roughly 20% of that figure is made up of high-speed arteries, which crisscross the country, data released by the China Railway Corporation, or CRC, illustrated. To put that into perspective, last year those bullet trains clocked up 29,000 km in operational mileage. Still, the cost of what is considered a transport miracle has been astronomical.