Minitrue: Shoddy High-Speed Rail Construction

The following  instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

Concerning news on poor along the Guizhou section of the Shanghai-Kunming , don’t send push notifications. Remove already published articles from prominent view. (November 14, 2017) [Chinese]

At Sixth Tone, Bibek Bhandari reports that China Railway Corporation, China’s national rail operator, has discovered safety issues along the Guizhou section of the Shanghai-Kunming high-speed rail route resulting from shoddy construction:

China’s national rail operator told The Paper that it had found several train tunnels cutting through the hilly terrain of southwest China’s Guizhou province to be substandard.

According to The Paper, China Railway has reprimanded four companies involved in the construction, supervision, and design of the Guizhou section, as well as a third-party inspection firm, and issued various penalties. The main contractor held responsible, China Railway 20 Bureau Group, has been barred from bidding on national rail projects for the next year and will be held liable for 90 percent of the cost of repairs, while two other companies will shoulder 5 percent each.

local news blogger in Guizhou was among the first to expose the route’s safety issues on Monday. In a Weibo microblog post that has since been deleted, he shared photos of shoddy construction in one of the tunnels and leaked internal documents from China Railway noting several accidents between June and July that prompted the company to start an investigation. The blogger also accused rail contractors of corruption. […] [Source]

In July of 2011, a high-speed rail crash in Wenzhou killed dozens and generated massive public outrage over corruption and the government attempt to conceal the deadly incident. After the 2011 incident, China Railway ordered reduced speeds for China’s high-speed routes. The speed restrictions were lifted for select high-speed trains in August, which according to a report in Fortune is related to China’s drive to sell high-speed train technology abroad amid the “Belt and Road” initiative.

真Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.