Regarding the high-speed train collision in Zhejiang Province over the weekend, I feel very sad about the deaths and injuries, but angry over how China’s government handled this accident.
Resuming train service less than two days after the accident might be another great achievement for high-speed transportation, but doing so without offering any plausible explanation for the cause of the accident and without showing a positive attitude toward investigating it further is just irresponsible. It’s as if the authorities are saying, “Welcome to our high-speed train system, but be aware that you could enter a high-speed death experience at any time.”
In addition, one day after the accident, some of the train wreckage was buried! (One car was later dug up.) What a mysterious action! Burying a cow infected with foot-and-mouth disease or a chicken infected with bird flu makes sense, but burying train wreckage that could contain valuable clues in the investigation of the accident is inexplicable. It makes an exhibition of the Chinese government itself.
So, I can only ask myself this question: What is “high speed” for? Is it for the passengers’ convenience? For the prestige of the country? Or for the vanity of the Chinese government?
One thing is certain: Sacrificing safety for “high speed” is fatal.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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