One of the most controversial high speed rail links in the UK, the HS2 that will link London to the North, may actually be funded by China. A lot of questions have been asked ever since Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made the announcement that China would be involved in the construction of the HS2. This was made clear just after David Cameron went to Beijing to talk to Li Keqiang.
According to Li Keqiang, both China and Britain have agreed to work together in order to push for breakthroughs in the rail industry. Although the rail industry is referred to as a whole, there is more concern about the development of high speed rail technology. This would be the same technology used in the making of the HS2.
After the talks, Cameron said that there is no other country in the whole world that is more open to Chinese investment than the UK. Now the question is, “What does China get out of investing in the HS2?” It feels as if there is something that the UK government is not telling the people.
Li Keqiang says that China and Britain have come together to agree on a push in the high speed rail industry. On top of that, China would like to work with Britain to further nuclear technology as well. The Chinese side is not only willing to participate in this huge push, but it is also willing to buy equities and stocks in UK power projects.
If there is one country in the world that already knows a lot about high speed rail, it is China. Over the last five years, China has been able to build the world’s largest high speed rail network. In fact, China has laid down more than 10,000 kilometers of tracks in the country. That is enough tracks to run a high speed rail from Thailand to Brazil. This is the kind of high speed rail network the UK would like to have in place.
Of course, there are a lot of Brits that are questioning whether China should be involved or not. This goes double since high speed rails have been the subject of safety concerns as of late. This has to do with the fact that at least 40 people died in a high speed rail crash in 2011. Some experts in the travel industry question whether it is safe at all for trains to travel that fast.
Cameron added that he is extremely excited to have China interested in high speed rails in Britain. This appears to be the start of a huge high speed rail revolution. The money being invested by China is a very welcome investment into the UK’s infrastructure.
Only time will tell if high speed rail is the answer to UK travel problems. The government would like to see more people using rail than driving cars. In order to do this, the government believes that more high speed rail lines need to be put in place.