Transportation deals connect nations oceans apart

Updated: 2015-05-21 07:45

By Zhao Yinan(China Daily USA)

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The cheers and bustling in a crowded subway carriage in Rio de Janeiro reminded me of a similar occasion during a recent trip to a city in northeast China, nearly 20,000 kilometers from Brazil.

Workers at CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co in Jilin province held cardboard signs high in the air to welcome Premier Li Keqiang to their factory.

"Thank you, Mr Salesman," the signs read.

Among the factories, companies and universities across China that I've covered throughout the premier's trips, the warm reception at the rail manufacturing plant in Changchun were most heartfelt and genuine. And there is good reason: Workers in that company, one of China's largest railway vehicle manufacturing bases, extended their greetings to the premier for his hard work promoting China's manufacture and export of rail equipment.

Li was received with similar hospitality on Wednesday in a subway carriage on Line 4 in Rio de Janeiro.

The carriages used on this line were made at the Changchun plant that Li visited in April. Earlier this year, nearly 100 carriages were being shipped from Changchun to Rio de Janeiro in a bid to ease the mounting traffic congestion in the southern and western parts of the city, the next host of the Olympic Games.

Transportation deals connect nations oceans apart

The carriages are designed and manufactured with higher ceilings and wider doors to better fit larger Latin passengers. Safety reminders printed in Portuguese were already on the wall inside the carriage before being delivered. A map showed the route of the subway line, which would run through the busy metropolis to link the Olympic Village with competition venues during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Luiz Fernando, governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, who accompanied the premier on the trip, said the new line, which could carry up to 300,000 passengers each day, will ease traffic when the Olympics open.

The subway project, among the first successful cases of China's global strategy for rail, went through many difficulties in bidding, design, construction and finance.

Benefits to the Chinese economy from the Olympics - the manufacture of clothes, souvenirs, decorative products and even the sale of beer - is seeing new possibilities for equipment and construction that would increase profits and help use up overcapacity for products such as cement and steel.

In that sense, the cheers on Wednesday were from many other people as well.

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