Hong Kongers protest $7.1B high-speed rail link to China, question legislature's democracy | StarTribune.com

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From the AP (via Strib) Hong Kongers protest $7.1B high-speed rail link to China, question legislature's democracy

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[A] $55 billion Hong Kong dollar ($7.1 billion) project to link Hong Kong to a national [Chinese] high-speed rail network has run into a growing protest movement analysts say stems from the lack of democracy in this wealthy former British colony of 7 million people.

Hundreds protested in a public square next to Hong Kong's legislature last week as lawmakers debated the proposed rail link to the southern Chinese city Guangzhou. Several hundred camped out in the square again on Friday.

Demonstrators object to the project because it would force many residents to relocate and could cause major traffic congestion and other environmental problems. They also question the economic benefits touted by the government and say the approval process has been clouded by conflicts of interest of some lawmakers linked to industries and companies that could profit from the project.

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“China is now the pacesetter for change” – that is the view of Mark Philips, from Jaguar Cars, for the Future Agenda Project (http://www.futureagenda.org/?cat=12) in an article where he recognises the benefits of increasing the speed of travel and says that “China is reshaping its landscape around train services by investing in a mix of both very high speed rail (350kph) and high speed rail (125-150kph) that will be the global benchmark for mass transit systems”. As well as this he presents his views on the challenges and possibilities for transport over the next decade.

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

Place and Plexus

The Transportation Experience

Access to Destinations

Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Intelligent Transportation Systems

Financing Transportation Networks

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on January 15, 2010 6:54 AM.

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