California and China to Collaborate on Railroads…Again.

Chinese high-speed train

China helped California build its railway decades ago and they may be at it again soon; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has made it publicly known that the great state of California is accepting bids from China to build its high-speed rail connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco. There is a precedent here–Schwarzenegger visited China’s railways earlier this year and China has already publicly expressed interest, not only in California but also in linking entire continents. All in all, it looks as though Schwarzenegger and China are playing a little dance, wooing each other, making public statements, holding meetings, and more.

“We look to China to build our high speed rail, to be part of the bidding process that we are going to go through,” said Schwarzenegger while in Shanghai. Schwarzenegger is also in talks with neighboring South Korea and Japan, but if China can keep its costs low, it seems likely Schwarzenegger would award the contract to China.

The United States set aside $8 billion dollars for high speed rail projects across the country and California was given $2.25 billion of the pot. And on top of the potential collaboration with China on the state’s railway plans, Schwarzenegger also announced that it would bid to hold the 2020 World Expo in Silicon Valley. Sounds like someone is trying to give China an ego boost–wooing it and bidding on the same major event currently being hosted there in the country.

China is also participating in the wooing game–they recently announced that formerly off-limits industries will now be open to foreign investment.

[Homepage image via Picasa/Romain; main image via flickr/Kimon Berlin]JN