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China Proposes First High-Speed Rail Link to Russia

Russia and China have announced plans to jointly build a number of high-speed railways, including at least one transnational one.

Chinese officials in a province bordering Russia have proposed building a high-speed train line from their territory to the port city of Vladivostok, a Russian official website said Thursday.

Under the proposal, a high-speed rail line already under construction to the Chinese border city of Hunchun would be extended into Russia, Jilin province Communist Party chief Bayanqolu told Primorye region Governor Vladimir Mikulshevsky, according to a press release published on Mikulshevsky's website.

"By August we'll have a [high-speed railway] to Hunchun. If jointly we were able to extend it, then it would be the first high-speed transnational [rail] line between Russia and China," Bayanqolu said.

Mikulshevsky, whose region counts Vladivostok as its capital, expressed interest in the program and suggested further negotiations with Russia's state-owned rail monopoly Russian Railways, his website said.

Russia and China have announced plans to jointly build a number of high-speed railways, including at least one transnational one. News agency Bloomberg in January reported that China was planning to build a high-speed railway line directly between Beijing and Moscow with an estimated cost of 1.5 trillion yuan ($242 billion).

While the proposed plan has yet to move forward, several other deals are already in the works. In early May, China Railway Construction Corp. said it had agreed to help fund and plan a 410 kilometer non-high-speed railroad in central-southern Russia, news agency Reuters reported.

The week before Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that China and Russia would jointly build a 1 trillion ruble ($20 billion) high-speed rail link from Moscow to Kazan by 2020.

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