The Ministry of Railways has signed an agreement with Industrial and Commerical Bank of China (ICBC) to aid in the bid for Malaysian railway contracts by CNR Tangshan Railway Vehicle, a Chinese producer of maglev trains, the South China Morning Post reported. Controversies remain about the practicality and utility of a maglev system, especially as Shanghai’s 30-kilometer maglev line continues to suffer financial difficulties and criticism. A potential maglev project in Malaysia would link Georgetown on Penang island with Butterworth on the West Malaysian peninsula, but CNR Tangshan officials refused to comment on whether the company was in talks to construct such a system. Exporting China’s maglev expertise has been encouraged as part of the "going out" policy within the sector, through which the railway ministry will offer political guidance and support in tandem with ICBC financing to domestic firms attempting to win contracts overseas.
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