Chen, Chia-Lin. “Reshaping Chinese Space-Economy Through High-Speed Trains:
Opportunities and Challenges.” Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 22, 2012. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0966692312000336
This text centered around the expansion of high-speed trains (HST) and how those expansions changed the dynamic of Chinese society. Defined as “high-speed” they first trains that are capable of reaching maximum speeds of 200 km/h or newly innovated 250 km/h, HST received a specialized name in order to avoid confusion with conventional railway transport. This newer mode of transportation originated in Japan, but soon the technology spread to China. There HST have experienced more technological advancements in China and soon surpassed those of Japan and other countries. China’s progressive movements with high-speed trains can be attributed to the nation’s focus on modernization and the amount of workable landscape they are able to work with, in contrast with Japan’s limited, workable space. As the HSTs integrated into society the cultural perception of time and space experienced changes as now travel times shortened and cities didn’t seem as far away. By virtue of the HST railway citizens now had access through distance cities that were previously unreachable. Adding in better, faster modes of transportation that changed the culture of travel/transport has sparked interest in how HST will affect the Chinese economy. Some speculate that these changes will widen the inequality gap between regions of the nation, while other look at the revival of regional cities as a positive indication of the future economic effects that HST will cause.
This text influenced my paper and thought process because it shows that countries that with a considerable amount of urbanized area, can employ railway system. China’s dedication to the railway system demonstrates that developed countries have the ability to effectively implement the technology of railway transport, not only for the transportation of goods, but for people as well. Society doesn’t have to sacrifice time nor speed with these models of trains, which are two extremely important elements in the United States’ society. Also if the United States were able to experience the same “time-space” change that Chinese culture has felt, then theoretically more impoverished areas of the country have access to more resources, as they “become closer.” Questions that arise out of this text include: What was the cultural reception of HST in China? How similar are the inequality differences between regions in China to those of the United States? This article was solely based on data and numbers of how the technology has expanded in China and neighboring European countries.