Czech Republic – China has signed a contract to sell three high-speed train trains to Czechia. This is the first Chinese contract for high-speed trains with a country of the European Union.
On December 21, the CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive group signed a contract worth 20 million euros with the Czech railway company Leo Express, according to the China News Service. According to the agency, trains will run at a speed of 160 km/h and will also be compatible with the Polish and Slovak railway networks. The first train is due to mid 2018.
In 2015, the same Chinese group delivered the same type of train to Macedonia, which is on the road linking the port of Piraeus in Greece, of which China is now majority shareholder, to Belgrade.
As for the high-speed railway linking Belgrade to Budapest, it is planned for the end of 2017 and is financed at 85% by Chinese credits.
Cooperation with China is increasing in Central Europe
This contract is in line with the Chinese project of the New Silk Road. In March 2016, Czech President Zeman had received his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to talk about the canal project linking the Danube, the Oder and the Elbe.
In June, the President of China visited Poland, where railway projects were also at the center of discussions.
The New Silk Road project is a long-term investment by China, which involves considerably Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Balkans. As a means of developing missing infrastructure in the region, the heads of states of the CEECs (Central and Eastern European countries) support this cooperation, which is growing every year.