New entrants in Xi’s Belt and Road dreams

Later in September, Hong Kong’s first high-speed train will head for Guangzhou, a port city and industrial power house. Its 200-km-an-hour sprint will finally end in nearby Shenzhen, the crucible of China’s reforms. The high-speed train will cover a short span of 141 km between Hong Kong’s West Kowloon station and Guangzhou South station in 47 minutes flat. By linking up with Guangzhou, Hong Kong will be physically connected, and integrated, with China’s vast web of high-speed rails. The world’s biggest, and still expanding, steel network of high-speed tracks already covers 25,000 km. Once Hong Kong is connected to the mainland through bullet train, Beijing will be just eight hours and 56 minutes away. Symbolically, the rail link represents Hong Kong’s firmer economic and people-to-people integration into the mainland. However, Chinese planners have made it plain that closer Hong Kong-mainland ties will not infringe the “one-country-two systems” political formula, which guarantees the island’s distinct identity, autonomous business-friendly rules and unique laws of governance.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/new-entrants-in-xis-belt-and-road-dreams/article24959135.ece

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