There’s a “China-US triple-win” story behind Liu He’s visit to America

FORM: 09/03/2018 Browse number:557

By Zhang Lipeng in Beijing | CRRC | Updated: 09/03/2018

At the invitation of the US government, Liu He, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and General Office Director of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, visited America from February 27 to March 3. The two parties exchanged opinions over the China-US relations and the bilateral cooperation in economy and trade.

This visit of Liu He is high-profile, behind which there is a “China-US triple-win” story, which may be what the China-US economic and trade cooperation should be like.

In October 2017, the railway transportation equipment manufacturing plant established by CRRC Corporation Limited (CRRC) in Springfield of Massachusetts formally went into operation.

The Springfield plant that broke ground in September 2015 is CRRC’s first railway transportation equipment manufacturing plant in America, and it is also an important part of CRRC’s Boston Orange Line and Red Line subway project. Such items of this project as general assembly of cars, assembly of bogies, test and after sales service will be carried out locally in Springfield.

According to local media, the general assembly of the Orange Line cars started this February and the general assembly of the Red Line cars will begin at the middle of this year. It is estimated that in less than one year, people in Boston will no longer see the overused subway cars and board on the new and modern subway cars made by China.

The Boston subway, opened to traffic in 1897, is the earliest subway in America. The current subway cars have served for over 40 years. In 2014, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority invited global tenders for Boston’s subway cars. In October of that year, CRRC finally won the bidding of providing 284 new subway cars for Boston Orange Line and Red Line subways. This is also the first train order that Chinese company gets in America. On December 12, 2016, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority decided to purchase another 120 subway cars from CRRC.

As the birthplace of subways, America has strict standards for the technology of rail transportation products and the qualification of the operator. It is said that this batch of subway cars conform with more than 120 American standards in such aspects as structural strength, safety of control and quality management system. They also meet the requirements of various other standards, such as the standards of the American Association of Disabled People, the standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Public Transportation Safety Act of Massachusetts, and MIL standards.

Since its first arrival in America in 2014, “CRRC-Made” has entered into Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia in only 3 years and got the orders of providing 1,596 subway cars and commuting buses in total for these cities.

Springfield is 90 miles away from Boston and was once an industry center of America. More than 100 years ago, Zhan Tianyou, the pioneer of China’s railway engineering, began his study abroad in Hartford, which is 30 minutes’ drive to the south from Springfield. The CRRC Springfield plant can complete such works as the general assembly of cars, assembly of bogies, test and after sales service, creating at least 150 jobs for local people. It plans to produce 12 subway cars each month.

Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts once said humorously that CRRC’s plant in Springfield created a “triple-win” situation: Springfield won jobs, Boston won new subway cars and CRRC won new market. Besides the new plant, CRRC has cooperated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in establishing “China-US Railway Transportation Research Institute”. Together with the University of Michigan, it has founded Advanced Manufacturing Associated R&D Center and Welding Structure R&D Center to undertake the research of cutting-edge technologies.

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