Debating Subways in Chinese Cities

This debate from <em>China Daily</em> offers a point-counterpoint over whether Chinese cities should be embarking on major subway building projects.
January 26, 2011, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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Arguing against the trend, Zhang Ming, a professor of political science at the Renmin University of China, says "A city's administration has to undertake proper planning and weigh the pros and cons before deciding to build a subway or even introduce a new line to its existing metro network. Chinese cities, however, seem to be obsessed with the idea of constructing subways. They think subways are a panacea for all traffic ills. In fact, 33 cities have applied for the central government approval to build subways."

Chinese scholar Xue Yong counters that "Most of the people who oppose subway construction do so because of its extremely high cost and the fear that it would run at a loss, which would increase the burden on taxpayers. Let's bear in mind, however, that a subway is not only a profit-making project; its most important function is public service."

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Published on Monday, January 24, 2011 in China Daily
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