(Beijing) Social media in China is abuzz as a news report claimed that China is considering building a high-speed rail network that will stretch all the way to the US.
The Beijing Times report claims that the proposed rail network would begin in northeast China and run through Siberia. Thereafter, it would pass through a tunnel underneath the Pacific Ocean to cross Alaska and Canada before reaching its final destination in the US.
The report quotes Wang Mengshu, a railway expert and academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, as
saying that the proposed network will cover an estimated 13,000 km/s, with the entire journey taking around two days.
Crossing the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska would require building a 200-km-long undersea tunnel. Wang believes that the technology to build such a tunnel is already in place, and will be used in the construction of the Fujian-Taiwan high-speed railway tunnel.
According to the report, while the details of the project have not yet been finalized, it will be funded and constructed by China.
On Sina #Weibo, the report has caused quite a stir, with a number of users excited at the prospect of rail connectivity with the US, while others are debating the efficacy and the economic rationale behind such a project:
“It seems impossible. But I hope (the project) can be accomplished, since it’s good for communications across continents. It will be a very complex program that will require high-level coordination.” @Laoshujing.
“A long time ago, some people in the US had dreamt of building a railway line around the world, or an elevator that could transport people to the moon. These are all wild ideas that we should encourage!” @Bill_Paolien.
“It is a good thought; but I see no economic value in it. Moreover, where does the investment come from? In China, such projects will get underway immediately as long as the officials approve it. But in other countries, things work differently. ” @Xiaolugerenzhuye.