Kolkata, Sep 13: A Chinese envoy on Wednesday proposed a bullet train service between Kunming in southwestern China and Kolkata in West Bengal. Ma Zhanwu, Chinese consul general in Kolkata, said China is 'looking forward' for a bullet train service connecting Kunming and Kolkata via Dhaka in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
"We are looking forward to bullet trains from Kolkata to Kunming. The whole of Asia will be connected,” said Zhanwu while addressing a conference on connectivity and trade relations between China and India. "If the project becomes a reality, it will take only two hours to complete the 2,000-km journey, compared with flights that take almost two hours and 30 minutes," Zhanwu added. India to Purchase 18 Bullet Trains From Japan for Rs 7,000 Crore.
The Chinese diplomat said the bullet train project would give a thrust to the proposed Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor that is scheduled to run through Mandalay in Myanmar, Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh terminating in Kolkata. He said the project figured in the Greater Mekong Subregion meet in Kunming in 2015.
Describing India as a rising economy, Zhanwu said China wants a stable relationship with all neighbours. He praised India by saying that despite a decline in value of the rupee, the rise of Indian economy is irreversible. The envoy added that Chinese policies like the Belt and Road Initiative are mainly designed for extensive discussion and shared benefits with neighbouring countries like India and "not to conquer them".
Meanwhile, the government has started working on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream project of a bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. As per plans, the 508 km-long and India's first Bullet Train project will cost around Rs 108,000 crore which will be constructed with a soft loan from Japan.