The Chinese government might split up the Yn100bn contract to build a high-speed train connection between Beijing and Shanghai, according to a Japanese government official reported by the Financial Times. The plan could involve offering separate aspects of the contract, such as laying rails and building rolling stock, to consortiums from different countries.
Such an arrangement might be politically convenient as it would quell criticism at home for awarding the entire deal to Japan, a country widely disliked in China for its wartime record. Japan's bullet train, or shinkansen, has emerged as the most likely candidate to win the contract. However on a visit to China last month, Japan's transport minister, Chikage Ogi, gained little access to Chinese leaders. According to Chinese newspapers, Ogi was given the 'cold shoulder' in failing to secure meetings with Wen Jiabao, prime minister, and senior officials from the Ministry of Railways and State Development and Reform Commission.
The Chinese government wants trains to start running on the 1,300km line in time for the 2010 Shanghai Expo, said Nikkei.