"Indeed, the web of superfast trains promises to make China even more economically competitive, connecting this vast country - roughly the same size as the United States - as never before, much as the building of the Interstate highway system increased productivity and reduced costs in America a half-century ago.
As China upgrades and expands its rail system, it creates the economies of large-scale production for another big export industry. 'The sheer volume of equipment that they will require, and the technology that will have to be developed, will simply catapult them into a leadership position,' said Stephen Gardner, Amtrak's vice president for policy and development."
By 2012, China will have 42 high speed rail lines in operation. The first U.S. project -- an 84-mile link between Tampa and Orlando -- is scheduled to open in 2014.