The China Crash

With everything on this weekend, a huge story got missed. I saw it on Twitter but forgot about it. Here we go:

With all the other horrible events of the weekend, China’s high speed rail crash sort of faded into the background. But the toll is horrific: 43 dead, and hundreds more injured after one high speed train ran into another. Critics are now arguing that this is the result of cut corners in the construction process:

China’s decision to build a $400 billion, 16,000 km high speed rail network in the space of a few years was initially greeted with awe at their committment to winning the future, and laments from the usual suspects that America could never do something this fantabulous. Then the network was forced to slow the average speed of its bullet trains down due to safety concerns; lower-than-projected ridership caused big deficits; and the head of the rail ministry was removed in a tawdry corruption scandal.

And now 43 people are dead. Yeah, it’s one accident. It’s one accident in only the fourth year of service. The system should be as good now as it’s going to be. What’s going to happen as it starts to fall apart?

Here’s a question for the floor: Think about the nitwits who have expressed admiration for China’s system, who have wished we were more like China, who have proclaimed China’s high-speed rail system the model for the hyper-expensive pork projects they want this country. Will any of them back down?

You don’t really have to answer that.

Comments are closed.

  1. TxAg94

    I wonder if the government, in its CHINA STRONG!!! obsession, sees this as an acceptable loss.

    Unfortunately, it’s correct, we certainly could never do something like this. The people pushing this crap, in my opinion, know that, too. They rely in many ways on the red tape and bureaucracy to make a lot of money and never actually accomplish anything. Sometimes I’m not sure which is worse, our system or theirs.

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    As someone that’s been dealing with China’s manufacturing for a couple decades I have this to say about it: We ain’t got shit to worry about.

    They just don’t “cut corners”, they throw out the fucking rule book and pull every fucking scam they can think of. The only way, and I mean ONLY FUCKING WAY, to get quality product out of China is ride their ass constantly and triple check everything they do. Even then they are trying to figure out an angle to pull a fast one on you to save a fucking nickle. China does not care about quality, they only care about appearances. On top of that, they don’t understand why they need to play by the rules – so what if a few pets or someone they don’t know dies or suffers horrible injuries, it’s not them personally….

    Tell you what, when China starts to provide commercial jets, only a fool will be in one when it takes off.

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  3. Rann

    It seems that China is now burying the train crash. … Literally, they dug a huge hole and dumped the crashed trains into it, and are now literally covering it up.

    Official reason given is that they don’t want foreigners stealing their technological secrets. Better guesses are that it’s to cover up the fact that they stole the technology from other countries in the first place, and to keep it from leaking that the crash was the fault of incompetent construction.

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  4. Seattle Outcast

    That’s funny. China has no technology worth stealing, and barely understands what it is they’ve grabbed from everyone else.

    Trying to leapfrog into the 21st century is pretty difficult to do when half your population consists of peasants that don’t have electricity or plumbing. In a lot of ways this reminds me of the old USSR trying to bluff the world at what a powerhouse they were when they were rotting away from the inside.

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