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140 22 A Conversation with Siegfried Lengl, Secretary of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development1 July 11, 1988 ZRJ: We’re paying a great deal of attention to a [potential] cooperative project with the Federal Republic of Germany to build Shanghai’s largest metro. Many countries are taking an interest in this project because its significance isn’t limited to the project itself. It entails systems engineering, and there will be a lot of room for cooperation. This matter has been in negotiation for a long time. After contacts with many countries, the competition is now primarily between the United Kingdom, France, and the German Federal Republic. The leaders of these three countries are all paying a great deal of attention to this matter. Government leaders of the United Kingdom and France have expressed their interest in and support for this Metro project to former mayor Jiang Zemin, who is now the Party secretary. The German Federal Republic has shown similar support. We haven’t yet made a final decision on this issue. I should say that the government of the German Federal Republic and Your Excellency Mr. Lengl have made a very great effort and have given us great support. It now appears that the competition is very intense. The British and French governments have both indicated that they can match any preferential terms that the German government offers us. Frankly speaking, although we believe that German technology and product quality are excellent, the actual results achieved by the German Federal Republic in metro engineering aren’t as good as those of the United Kingdom. Although your prices for a few items, including stations and power supplies, are higher than those of the United Kingdom and France, you are still competitive in other areas. A major issue that I’d like to hear your opinion on is the loan your government has committed to give, which is smaller than the investment needed for the Metro project. There is a 1. Shanghai’s largest Metro project was the first metro in Shanghai (that is, the first phase of Metro Line No. 1). Construction began in March 1990 and was completed in December 1994. The entire line was opened to traffic in April 1995. The line starts at the Jinjiang Action Park in the south and goes north to the Shanghai Railroad Station, for a total length of 16.1 kilometers. It had 13 stations and involved a total investment of RMB 5.95 billion. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 140 12/26/17 12:00 PM A Conversation with Siegfried Lengl 141 shortfall of 200 million marks—what should be done about that? That’s why when your ambassador to China telephoned to say you wanted to come to Shanghai, I invited you to come immediately. You’re here at just the right time, a critical time. If none of you came at this time, things would be hard to handle. SL: Mr. Mayor, thank you for briefing me on the current situation. You’re very correct: we in the German Federal Republic started building metros later than other countries. The Paris Metro was built at the start of this century while the metros in Berlin and Hamburg were built in the 1920s, 20 years later than Paris. However, we can assure you that our technology in building metros is the most advanced. We have experience in building a metro in Munich, which posed many challenges in underground construction, as will be the case in Shanghai. After the Second World War, the factories and transportation facilities we were forced to rebuild were better than before. At that time, we made products that were cheaper but of better quality than those of the victor nations. In At the contract signing ceremony for Line No. 1 of the Shanghai Metro, May 13, 1989. On the far right, Xu Yifang, vice chair of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Political Consultative Conference, and next to him, Sun Guizhang, vice chair of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai People’s Congress and secretary of the Municipal Construction Commission; fourth from the right, Huang Ju, vice mayor and deputy secretary of the Municipal Party Committee; fifth, Wang Daohan, adviser to the municipal government. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 141 12/26/17 12:00 PM 142 A Conversation with Siegfried Lengl particular, we developed new technologies for building metros after the war. I know that competition between those in the business is...


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