Mexico City train transfer to Chinese companies approved for construction regardless of Australian safety
Recently, the parent company of CRRC Changchun Rail Bus Co., Ltd. (CRRC Changchun), which undertook the construction of the new Melbourne train, was exposed as a beneficiary of Xinjiang slave labor products and was also blacklisted by the US Department of Defense for security threats.
While China has repeatedly retaliated against Australia, experts in Australia-China relations criticized the Victorian government for paying too much attention to its relationship with China at the expense of deeper cooperation with India and Japan.
CRRC's construction of 65 trains for Melbourne has been delayed for 18 months.Victorian unions also criticized the project for robbing jobs that originally belonged to Victorians.
CRRC Changke is a subsidiary of China CRRC Corporation (CRRC), a large Chinese manufacturer of organic vehicles.According to the official website of CRRC, the company is a company approved by the State Council of China and approved by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. Its mission is to "seize strategic opportunities such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the global rail transit equipment industry", "Try to be the vanguard of'Made in China 2025'".
The US Department of Defense has listed CRRC as a potential cybersecurity threat. The Australian Institute of Strategic Policy (ASPI) report also pointed out that CRRC is a direct or indirect beneficiary of Xinjiang's forced labor camps.The company’s supplier, KTK Group, was exposed to hiring slave labor in Xinjiang concentration camps starting in 2019.
Investigations by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Times found that the Victorian Andrews government hired a person who had recently worked for Downer in Australia during the 2015 tender process.Downer and CRRC Changke belong to the same consortium.Just a few months after Evolution Rail, a consortium formed by CRRC Changke and Downer Company, won the bid in 2016, the employee returned to work for Downer Company, which raised questions about the fairness of the tender process.
Although the Victorian government did not sign the controversial "Belt and Road" memorandum of understanding with China until 2018, as early as April 2016, the Victorian government began to implement the "China Strategy" and set up related trade agreements. Strategic cooperation goals.Just before Victorian Governor Andrews went to China to meet with senior Chinese officials, the Victorian government announced that the consortium of CRRC and Australian companies had won the bid for the construction of 4 new trains for Melbourne.
Professor John Fitzgerald, an expert on Australia-China relations, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the train construction agreement signed by the Victorian government may expose Australia to further economic coercion from China, and China “has repeatedly stated that it will use Australia Economic dependence to gain political advantage".
Professor Fitzgerald said that in the first 10 of the past 5 years, the Australian government usually chooses low-cost automotive and railway equipment suppliers.As a result, Australia lost the ability to independently produce locomotives, became dependent on China, and fell into a situation of coercion.
He believes that the Victorian Labor Government’s “particular emphasis” on China’s cooperation projects may have come at the cost of abandoning deeper cooperation with India and Japan. "(Andrews) does it offer similar project investment opportunities to partners in Japan, India and other regions?" he asked.
The Times revealed in September this year according to a leaked cabinet document that the train constructed by CRRC Changsha was delayed for 9 months because the delivered train had major defects.The state government hopes to put these trains into service in December, but further delays caused by the epidemic may occur.
The Victorian government announced in 2016 that 60% of the parts and components used to build high-capacity trains will be manufactured locally.However, in order to achieve efficiency goals, the work originally carried out in Melbourne was outsourced offshore to CRRC's factory in April 2019.
Several union workers familiar with the project said that the current trains to Melbourne have completed the installation of electrical lines and carriages, which means that hundreds of hours of work have been lost locally.