China claims it will soon have trains that are able to travel as fast as a speeding bullet.
A Chinese bullet passenger train set a world record in a trial run on Friday, hitting a top speed 302 miles per hour. The train ran on a line between Zaozhuang City of Shandong Province and Bengbu City in eastern Anhui Province, part of a new high-speed rail line that will eventually link Beijing and Shanghai.
Once the train is in operation, it is supposed cut travel time in half to approximately five hours. So, it will actually be faster to take the train rather than fly between the two cities.
"It not only marks a milestone in the construction of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, but also is a major achievement of China's technology innovation," Wang Yongping, spokesman of the Ministry of Railways, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.
The Chinese Ministry of Railways called the feat "a major achievement of China's technology innovation." However, some foreign transportation executives doubt just how much of China's bullet-train technology Chinese engineers actually invented.
Foreign high-speed train producers who taught China how to make bullet trains say that while the Chinese have succeeded in making the bullet trains go faster, the fundamental technology behind the trains remains more or less the same technology that foreign companies originally provided the People's Republic five years ago.
"What China has is the same trains with beefed-up propulsion and other tweaked systems" to achieve faster speeds, an official from one foreign high-speed rail company told the Wall Street Journal. "Fundamentally China has made little to no big technological advancements."