China will officially start operation of the world’s fastest train service next month, knocking an hour off the 1,318km journey between Beijing and Shanghai. Seven pairs of bullet trains – named Fuxing, which means rejuvenation – will start operating from September 21. National rejuvenation is a slogan promoted by Chinese President Xi Jinping. At present, the fastest trains in China, which have their top speed capped at 300km/h, are named Hexie, or Harmony, a key slogan for Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao. China had briefly tried a maximum speed of 350km/h, but a deadly train crash in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, in 2011 forced the railway authority to reduce the upper limit. However, according to the South China Morning Post, the desire to up the speed on the world’s most extensive high-speed network remained strong as the country tried to stay ahead of Japan, Germany and France in a technological race.
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