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Chinese Cautious But Interested in Building Calif. Bullet Train

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Governor Brown is in China right now, working on signing environmental pacts and wooing Asian investment to California, in particular for the planned bullet train to connect LA and the Bay Area (and possibly San Diego and Sacramento). At a meeting this week, China's vice minister of commerce directly said his nation wants to look at "the possibility of investment in the high-speed rail project," reports the Los Angeles Times. That is primo news--the expensive project now has a $68 billion pricetag and the state only has about 11 percent of that (not to mention, it could momentarily silence some of the many doubters). California and China already have preliminary agreements to collaborate on building the high-speed rail line--the groundwork for Chinese investment was laid with former Governor Schwarzenegger, who visited the no-longer-sleeping giant in 2010 to discuss the venture.

Now the state-owned company that built some of China's 5,000 miles of high-speed rail is expressing interest in helping build ours, and with assets hovering around $480 billion, they could possibly front construction costs in exchange for a bite of the profits. The Chinese may be rich, but they're not reckless--Sean Randolph, president of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, part of the group that organized the China trip, says, "there will probably have to be more up-front investment from the state before they get to the point where it's really ripe for Chinese or any other outside investment."
· Brown wants China aboard California's high-speed rail project [LA Times]
· High-Speed Rail Archives [Curbed LA]