China’s Ministry of Railways denied accusations that foreigners are being "squeezed out" of the Chinese railway market and that Chinese companies are exporting trains using stolen Western technology, state media reported. Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping defended China’s history of innovation in railway technology and said foreign companies will continue to have access to the domestic market. The comments came in response to Philippe Mellier, chief executive of French train maker Alstom Transport, who told the Financial Times that China was increasing protection of its domestic market and seeking to export trains to Europe using transferred Western technology. As evidence, he pointed out that tenders for high-speed trains between Beijing and Shanghai specify that the trains be entirely Chinese-built and designed. Wang countered that the trains use more sophisticated technology developed by Chinese firms. "This is the innovative result of our wholly owned intellectual property and there’s no stealing of Western technology," Wang said. China spent US$48.35 billion on railway construction in 2008 and has earmarked nearly twice that amount for 2009.
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