High-speed train to Tianjin may inspire Asean leaders

High-speed train to Tianjin may inspire Asean leaders

If the schedule remains unchanged, Asean foreign ministers - including Thailand's very own Surapong Tovichakchaikul - will have a chance to take the high-speed train from Beijing to Tianjin and back later this week.

The ministers are in China from today until Friday for a special meeting to mark the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.

At the meeting, they will take stock of the relations over the past decade, look ahead to the future and discuss ways of handling problems over the South China Sea. Of course, the codes of conduct will be on the agenda.

Activities scheduled for them in Tianjin are merely visits to the Tianjin Planning Exhibition Hall, the ancient culture street and some meetings with local executives and officials.

Obviously the highlight of this trip is the high-speed train, as it showcases China's advanced transportation technology and offers the ministers a chance to experience it for themselves.

Many ASEAN countries have been considering a similar railway system to boost their logistics and connectivity.

The Beijing-Tianjin high-speed train is believed to be the world's fastest conventional train service. It can hit a maximum speed of 330 kilometres per hour, taking just half an hour to cover the 117km between the two cities.

Surely this should be enough to inspire the Southeast Asian leaders, whose trains can barely hit 60 to 80km per hour.

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