《经济学人》:China,Off the rails?中国出轨了?
日期:2011-04-26 11:00

(单词翻译:单击)

China 中国Off the rails? 出轨了?
High-speed trains might be forced to go a little more slowly 高铁或许会被迫放慢速度

CHINA’s high-speed rail network is probably the world’s most ambitious public-works project, a 21st-century equivalent of America’s Interstate highway system. Officials crow at each new speed milestone and each dramatic reduction in intercity-travel times. But after the disgrace and sacking of the railways minister and a series of other corruption investigations, the construction of the system itself may be shunted onto the slow track.

中国的高速铁路网可能是世界上最为雄心勃勃的公共建设工程,这一21世纪的工程可以和美国的跨州高速路网相提并论。官员们为每一个新的高铁运行速度记录和跨城旅行时间的节省而欢呼雀跃。但是当铁道部长刘志军的丑闻曝出,遭到解职,一系列的反腐败调查也一并开始后,高铁建设的速度或将放慢。

In 2008 China had only 649km of high-speed railway. It now has nearly 8,400km, four times as much as the next-largest network (Japan’s). The total will approach 19,000km by 2014, according to analysts at UBS, a Swiss bank (see map). That would be ten times as extensive as Japan’s. China is also adding copious amounts of traditional track and upgrading lines, mostly intended for freight. Estimates for the bill range from $530 billion to $750 billion in today’s money—comparable to America’s interstate system, which cost over $400 billion in 2006 dollars.

在2008年,中国还仅只有649公里的高速铁路,现在这一数字则接近8,400公里,是世界第二大高铁网络日本高铁公里数的四倍。根据瑞银(UBS)分析师的推算,2014年中国高铁总里程将接近19,000公里,届时将是日本高铁网总里程的十倍。中国还在大量增加普通铁路的建设,进行线路升级,这将促进货运的发展。按现在的价格测算,中国铁路建设的总投资估计为5000亿到7500亿美元,而美国的跨州高速公路按06年的美元价格计算,才投资了4000亿美元。

But question-marks have been raised over these plans after the sacking in February of Liu Zhijun, the minister responsible for building the high-speed network. He was accused of skimming off as much as 1 billion yuan ($152m) in bribes and of keeping as many as 18 mistresses. Zhang Shuguang, another top official in the railways ministry, was later dismissed for corruption. Separately, on March 23rd, state auditors reported that $28m had been embezzled from the 1,300km high-speed line between Beijing and Shanghai, the highest-profile of China’s many rail projects.

但是当负责高铁建设的铁道部长刘志军在二月遭解职后,高铁的未来也划上了问号。他被指控贪污超过10亿元人民币(约合1亿5200万美元),拥有18个情妇。张曙光,铁道部的另一个高官,稍后也因腐败而解职。一个事实是,国家审计机关在3月23日发布报告,称京沪高铁建设费用中约有2800万美元遭到贪污。京沪高铁全长1300公里,连接北京和上海,是中国高铁建设的重点。

Public support for high-speed trains is muted. The trains may reach 350km per hour but fares are proportionately eye- watering. That is all right for well-heeled travellers, happy to have an alternative to flying. But tens of millions of poor migrants who work far afield and flock home for the Chinese new year are being priced out the rail market and have to go by bus (the number of bus journeys is soaring).

公众对高铁建设缺乏支持。高铁时速可达350公里,但是票价花费也很高昂。对于惯于乘飞机旅行的人来说,高铁是个不错的选择。但是数以亿计的农民工,往往离开家乡来到城市工作,在春节时却因为买不起火车票而不得不改坐长途大巴(选择巴士出行的农民工正在增加)。

The sacking of top officials may be the result merely of one of China’s periodic anti-corruption campaigns. Or it may be the upshot of a high-level factional or personal battle, in which corruption charges are often a favourite weapon. If so, the dismissals would not necessarily affect railway development.

铁道部长的解职也许只是中国阶段性的反腐运动的结果,或者是高层人士和派系斗争的侧影。这些斗争通常都把腐败指控作为最佳武器。如果刘志军的下台只是因为政治斗争,那么中国铁路的发展可能不会受太大影响。

But some experts think construction may slow down. In his first public remarks, the new railways minister, Sheng Guangzu, repeatedly stressed the importance of quality and safety, implying that corruption may have led to corner-cutting, and that the timetables on some projects may now have to change. The breakneck pace of construction has also left the ministry with large and—say some analysts—unsustainable debts, putting further pressure on projects.

但是一些专家担心建设速度会慢下来。新任铁道部长盛光祖在第一次公开讲话中,反复强调质量和安全的重要性,这意味着贪污可能造成了不利的影响,那么一些工程的安排也许会改变。高铁建设的极快速度也让铁道部负债累累,某些分析人士称这些大量的债务难以维系。债务问题也给工程建设带来了更大的压力。

No one thinks China is going to make drastic changes to what is a signature national programme. (And one from which it hopes to spin off lucrative contracts building railways in Algeria, Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan and elsewhere.) But it might postpone some of the dizzier schemes, such as one to build a freight line across mountainous northern Colombia to rival the Panama canal. And all those high-speed lines in China might now be laid at a slightly less breakneck pace.

没人会觉得中国将会对高铁这个国家形象工程做一些巨大调整。(中国希望发展高铁来获得阿尔及利亚,伊朗,俄罗斯,哈萨克斯坦和世界其它地方的铁路建设合同。)但是中国可能将一些不现实的铁路建设计划推迟,比如建造一条穿越哥伦比亚北部山区,直抵巴拿马运河的货运铁路。现在中国的这些高铁线路建设速度也许会放慢一点点,但依然很快。

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重点单词
  • slightlyadv. 些微地,苗条地
  • alternativeadj. 两者择一的; 供选择的; 非主流的 n. 替换
  • merelyadv. 仅仅,只不过
  • comparableadj. 可比较的,比得上的
  • flockn. 一群(人,兽),大堆 v. 成群而行,聚集
  • milestonen. 里程碑
  • constructionn. 建设,建造,结构,构造,建筑物
  • trackn. 小路,跑道,踪迹,轨道,乐曲 v. 跟踪,追踪
  • pressuren. 压力,压强,压迫 v. 施压
  • qualityn. 品质,特质,才能 adj. 高品质的