Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Israel and China Will Work Together On The New Eilat Railway

In an ambitious move, Israel is moving forward on a proposed Eilat high-speed railway intended to offer a new Asian-European trade route that will compete with the Suez Canal, and thus insurance against threats in the region. It will run from Dimona to Eilat, with 63 bridges and five tunnels--including a long tunnel from the Negev plateau to the Arava valley, with tracks for both passengers and freight.

According to Netanyahu:
The Tel Aviv-Eilat railway line, which will shorten travel time to two hours, will change the face of the country. The railway line and Israel's natural gas resources can forge strong links in the economic, energy and industrial fields
And Israel's partner in the Eilat railroad project is going to be China
Israel and China today signed historic cooperation agreements to build the Eilat railway and future projects, including the inland canal port north of Eilat. Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz and China's Minister of Transport Li Shenglin signed the memorandum of understanding in Beijing.
China is on board because the project is just as important to them as it is to Israel. While the Eilat railroad is important to Israel because of strategic and policy reasons, Chinese has an interest in the railroad as well because it will help to strengthen critical trade routes.

The railroad is expected to take approximately 5 years to complete.

I thought Dr. Aaron Lerner's comment about China's involvement with Israel's Eilat railroad was interesting:
what country in the region would have the chutzpa to interfere with the operation of a transportation system with a Chinese government connection?
We will see.

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