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Is this Arms Race of Supersonic Transportation Tech ?

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China’s state run Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced high speed trains that can attain speed of 4000 kmph which is four times more than Elon Musk’s proposed Hyperloop.

Chinese Supersonic Train Project

China has announced CASC has claimed plans for advanced generation of Magnetic Levitation Trains with speed up to 4000 kmph. China has approximately 9.5 square km of land area, which needs frequent means of travel that are accessible to common people. Apart from Chinese land vastness , China’s whopping One Road One Belt Project (OROB) will also require faster means of connectivity than road. Therefore, such high speed means of transportation are not China’s not bragging rights but for long term needs.

Is this Arms Race of Supersonic Transportation Tech
source Sina Video
Although China already has largest network of high speed trains in the world but it seems it is not fulfilling China’s requirements. According to CASC official statement that 20 Chinese-National and international research institutes will be funded in making of such high speed trains. To serve their short term goals CASC wants to make trains with speed up to 950 kmph that are more in range of SpaceX’s 1100 kmph Hyperloop max speed. Such trains will be deployed as intercity railway express. 

The Hyperloop

Hyperloop has more of an open contribution model, countries from around the world were invited in Hyperloop competition to contribute their ideas and efforts in making working models of Hyperloop. Germany’s WARR Hyperloop was able to attain 300+ kmph speed and according to Elon Musk it is possible to attain target speed of 1100 kmph with further improvements in Hyperloop model. 

Supersonic Tech War ?

Countries from around the world want to excel in Hyperloop technology and collective efforts are being put in the project to innovate and invent more but sooner than later. A need of urgency from SpaceX and participating countries is also required because of Chinese claim of more than 200 patents being made. Since Chinese action give glimpse of early trade wars in Europe, Asia and Africa. China may want to curb growth of such technology by other countries as they might want to be a manufacturer and supplier along with original IP holder.
It is a known fact that China is in tussle with India in Trade wars, and PRC are using all means of political, strategically and economical tactics to curb India’s effort to rise in global market. China would not want their mistake of Maglev to be repeated with such high speed trains, as of now Japan also sells Maglevs and is a competitor to china in High speed bullet train market.
The whole Chinese effort and their prior history to handle such issues indicate that China wants to acquire this market before anyone else can.  Accounting with the fact that SpaceX and other global powers are involved over Hyperloop which will be shaping future of transportation indicates a possible Technology Race on war scale.
Although the concept of Supersonic trains is not new. China has been working in direction of developing supersonic trains that run 3000+ kmph in a vacuum tube.
Is this Arms Race of Supersonic Transportation Tech
source caijing.com.cnen
SpaceX’s Hyperloop is relatively new and barely compete with existing Maglevs that can run 400+kmph. What we know for sure is that such competition is way better than an actual Arms race, and if Tech Race is going to replace Arms Race, it is better for us all.

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