Chinese engineers are said to be in talks over the construction of a railway spanning from the northeast of the country to the United States, via Siberia and the Bering Strait.
Wang Mengshu of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told state-owned newspaper The Beijing Times that the proposed line — one of four such schemes that would extend China’s high-speed rail technology across the globe — had already been discussed with international governments.
Billed as the “China, Russia, Canada, U.S. line,” news of the project comes amid a wider bid by Beijing to export a construction sector that some economists say is building above demand at home.
According to the Beijing Times, the proposed railway would run from northeastern China, up through Siberia, and under the Bering Strait to Alaska, where it would head south through Canada and into mainland United States.
The trip would take an estimated two days — less time than it currently takes to travel by train from China’s economically advantaged cities on the east coast to the restive far west of the country.
Other proposed railway projects in discussion would connect China to Southeast and Central Asia, as well as farther-afield destinations like London and Tehran.
One railroad that would run to Turkey is said to retrace the steps of the Silk Road passageway.
However, no international government or enterprise has confirmed any talks regarding the proposed railway lines. But the plans do fall in line with a major construction push by Beijing. In recent years, China has built everything from highways to mosques around the globe.