150 Years on, China’s Rail Role Would Use U.S. Labor

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nearly 150 years ago America built the first transcontinental railroad, and 10,000 Chinese laborers used pickaxes to cut tunnels and rail-lines for just $30 per month. Now, President Obama is promoting high-speed rail, and the Chinese are again involved.  This time, though, they don't just want to swing an axe.  They want to design and part-fund it and have Americans provide the labor. Alastair Leithead, a reporter with the BBC, has been looking at the story for their series "Power of Asia." We also hear from Brian Leung, an associate professor of creative writing at University of Louisville, the author of "Take Me Home" a book about Chinese Americans in the nineteenth century.


Alastair Leithead

Produced by:

Duncan Wilson

Comments [3]

Howard from Hongkong

Go to visit China, and pay a visit to the HSR company, and find the truth yourself.
You're not any smarter than other people, esp. those Califonias who have come and seek proof through their research and evaluation.

Jun. 25 2011 03:25 AM

The poster above is a well known anti-China troll who posts garbage related to China everywhere on the Internet. Anything he says has to be taken with a huge block of salt.

The retired chief engineer, although spewing a considerable amount of BS, did not claim the Chinese trains were foreign. His worst accusation was that licensed foreign trains were running above their speeds.

Jun. 25 2011 02:34 AM
Traveler from New York

This show is misleading, because Chinese high speed technology is not coming to America due to a multiple of legality and safety issues.

There is a massive scandal going on in China right now where a retired chief engineer of China's Railway Ministry confessed that all of Chinese bullet trains are really foreign, and that Chinese railway operators were speeding to 350 km/hr on trains and tracks designed for 300 km/hr. He basically declared the whole Chinese HSR system to be fake.

The situation is very much like Chinese cars of 2008, when there was a hype about the impending arrival of cheap Chinese cars to the US market and how Chinese were going to buy out bankrupt US automakers. None of that happened, and the US stays Chinese car free for now and well into the future.

In other word, Chinese bullet trains are not coming to America; it is a job best left to the likes of French, German, Japanese, and Korean high speed rail companies.

Jun. 24 2011 12:03 PM

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