Photographer: Liu Zhuoqun/Imaginechina via AP

Philly Train Sale Is China's First to U.S.: Eye on Chinese Media

China’s oldest railway equipment maker will export the country’s first stainless steel trains to North America, according to China Daily. Philadelphia’s transit agency will buy 45 multi-level commuter rail cars, with an option for 10 more, from CRRC Tangshan Co., a unit of the state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Co., the paper reported. It said the deal closes a loop because the rail company founded in 1881 made China’s first steam locomotive, which ran on wheels made by a Philadelphia company. But while the rail car shells are being exported from China, they still meet "Buy America" requirements because most of the parts, labor and fabrication will be handled at CRRC’s plant in Springfield, Massachusetts, according to a statement from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. THE CONTEXT: China hopes to play a bigger role in helping the U.S. replace its aging infrastructure.

In Other Reports:

  • JET AGE: China’s first modern large jet, expected to make its maiden flight Friday in Shanghai, poses no immediate threat to Airbus SE and Boeing Co., the official Xinhua News Agency said in an analysis. The 158-174 seat C919 made by state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. will compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, and is a step toward relying less on foreign airliners, Xinhua said. Boeing, the largest U.S. exporter, last year estimated that China will need 6,810 new planes worth $1 trillion over the next 20 years.
  • EXCESS CAPACITY: The Belt and Road Initiative, President Xi Jinping’s sweeping plan to better link China to the global economy by reviving ancient land and sea trade routes, isn’t a strategy to export excess industrial capacity, the Xinhua News Agency said. Rather, the proposal "brings shared benefits to all," Wang Yiwei, a professor at the School of International Relations at Renmin University, said at a press briefing, according to the state-run news service. THE CONTEXT: Official media has been ramping up coverage of the initiative before Xi convenes a May 14-15 summit dedicated to the initiative with 28 heads of state in Beijing.
  • INVITATION: China remains open to "any form" of U.S. involvement in Belt and Road, the Global Times reported, citing Ruan Zongze, vice president of the China Institute of International Studies. U.S. President Donald Trump shouldn’t follow the Obama administration in steering clear of the initiative, the Communist Party tabloid said.

— With assistance by Jeff Kearns, and Miao Han

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