China claims its rail tech superior to Japan’s


A spokesman for the Chinese Railways Ministry says the nation’s high-speed rail technologies are far superior to those used by Japan’s bullet trains.

The remarks Thursday by Wang Yongping in an interview with the Xinhua news agency came after Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. threatened to take action if China files for patents on high-speed trains that use Japanese technology in violation of contracts signed between Japan and China.

The technologies for which patent applications have reportedly been filed in at least five countries and regions are used in China’s high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai, which was inaugurated on June 30.

“The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway and Japan’s shinkansen line cannot be mentioned in the same breath, as many of the technological indicators used by China’s high-speed railways are far better than those used in Japan’s shinkansen,” Wang said, rejecting the Japanese accusation of pirating.

“We Chinese will not claim technologies owned by others as our own. And we will never give up our rights to file patent applications for innovations developed through our efforts and wisdom because of others’ irresponsible remarks,” he said.

The China-developed CRH380A series trains, running on the 1,318-km Beijing-Shanghai line, are different from the CRH2 trains that were jointly manufactured by China and Japan based on the imported technologies from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the Xinhua report said, citing the Railways Ministry.

It said many of the technological indicators of the CRH380A trains are better, with their power raised to 9,600 kw from 4,800 for the CRH2 trains, their speed increased to 380 kph from 200 to 250 kph, and a lower chance of derailment.

Wang said there is no doubt that the intellectual property rights of the technology used in China’s high-speed railways belong to it.

Giving an example, he cited the bogie, or the driving wheel technology, noting the one used in China’s high-speed railways differs from that of other countries and is now under China’s national patent protection.

According to the ministry, more than 1,900 technologies used in China’s high-speed railway have been granted national patents while the applications of 481 other technologies are under review.

The interview comes after Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto told his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in talks Monday in Beijing that China’s move to take out international patents for high-speed railway technologies has “drawn a great deal of attention” in Japan and is being “closely monitored,” according to Japanese officials.

They said Yang maintained that China acquired the technologies “through its own innovations.”