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China's Shanghai and Hangzhou rail line is the world's highest average speed rail line.  (Source: Reuters)
China continues to advance its high-speed rail program

When it comes to high speed rail transportation, the U.S. is getting left behind. Europe and Japan have long championed high speed rail, and China is currently working to install 16,000 miles of high speed rail track -- or roughly 1/3 of the length of the U.S.'s total interstate highway system -- and spending $1T USD on the project.  By comparison, U.S. President Barack Obama has committed a mere $13B USD in high speed rail investment.  And where the U.S. deployment has struggled with landowner and property concerns, the more efficient Chinese system has simply relocated land owners (despite their protests) and started construction.

A few months back set a speed record (average speed, not top speed) of 236 mph (380 km/h) for its Shanghai to Beijing line.  This week it bumped that speed up even higher recording a speed of 258.9 mph (416.6 km/h) for its new train line between Shanghai and Hangzhou.

The previous train took approximately 80 minutes to cover the 125.5 mi (202 km) between the cities.  The new line will typically travel at around 217.5 mph (350 km/h), cutting that time to around 40 minutes. 

China currently has 4,300 miles of railroad track -- the most of any nation in the world.  While its trains aren't quite as fast at top speed compared to foreign models -- Japan's JR-Maglev train (unrailed), which achieved a speed of 581 km/h (361 mph) and France's TGV at 574.8 km/h (357.18 mph) (railed) -- in average speed it is unbeaten.

So why does the world care if China is beating it in high-speed transportation?  Well China's train system is not only high-speed, it is also high volume as well.  And at the end of the day it's offering its citizens days in extra productivity every year, which will likely have tremendous and unheralded benefits on the economy.  For example, the average citizen commuting on the new record-setting line will save approximately an hour and 20 minutes a day.

Of course the costs are tremendous and China has much work to go before it can reach its hyper-ambitious goals, like 1,000 km/h super-trains, it's clearly setting a blistering pace with technological advancements.

China's train lines are almost entirely managed by state-owned enterprises, though many are publicly traded on stock markets in Hong Kong and China.

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RE: This explains where the TARP loans went
By HolgerDK on 10/1/2010 3:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
How can he be Kenyan when he was born in Hawaii?

By Fritzr on 10/3/2010 4:33:39 AM , Rating: 2
If Kenyan law allows derivative citizenship, then he can be a Kenyan citizen by descent. (Not sure how that law reads...Kenya is a country I've never thought to check for citizenship rules) He is entitled to British citizenship as a British National by this means. As he is a British subject born in Hawaii, he is already a Dual Citizen. Having Kenya recognize him as a citizen due to his father's citizenship would just add a third passport he could legally use :)

It is also possible that he has lost his non US citizenships by being elected or appointed to a policy level position in the US. (US does this for citizens who take similar positions in a foreign government as a citizen of the other country...low level positions such as town mayor don't trigger this loss though)

Currently the official position of the US government is that as long as a citizen takes no action showing a stronger loyalty to the other nationality, the foreign citizenship is disregarded by the US. Holding a policy level position in a foreign government would be evidence of such divided loyalty for example. This was a change of attitude brought about by the acceptance that no country can dictate to another what constitutes a 'citizen'.

A side effect of this is that things like renunciation of citizenship to conform to the laws of a foreign country are not voluntary and therefore may be annulled after the fact. (This is how we can have dual US/Japan citizens with Japan banning Dual Citizenship by law) or just plain ignored (The Philippine citizenship oath renounces all foreign citizenships...US simply ignores this and considers a US citizen naturalizing as a Filipino to be a US citizen regardless of an oath made to a foreign government)

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