Chinese railway company builds metro line for Moscow
By Wang Hui
Trade and economic cooperation between China and Russia have grown over the years. Both countries have partnered on projects that have brought benefits to each side. We explore such a project in Moscow, where a Chinese railway company has been building a metro line for the capital.
Wang Baozhi, 46, has been helping build this metro in Moscow for two years.
On how he feels about the work, Wang told CGTN, "I feel pressured. I'm in a foreign country. I want to maintain the high quality of my work, as I want to give my country a good reputation."
Wang works for the China Railway Construction Corporation, which is the first foreign company in Moscow's metro line construction project. It sealed the deal with the city in January 2017 to build a four-kilometer-long metro line with three stops.
However, winning over Russia's trust wasn't easy, as it is one of the earliest countries to build a metro line with more than 80 years of history. The project manager of China Railway Construction Corporation, Xue Liqiang, recalls one of their first challenges.
"They asked us to hand in the project plan under a tight deadline. They not only asked for the schedule, but also all sorts of details, such as staff, equipment, and materials. It was even narrowed down to everyday details."
Through its efforts, the company successfully won another contract later on for an additional two-kilometer-long line.
"Our strengths are in our technology, management, and equipment. We work nonstop to ensure high efficiency and quality," Xue says.
Their equipment also stands out. The company has brought a lot of advanced hardware here, such as a shield machine that measures 100 meters and is used for tunneling. It has already set a record of 35 meters in one day when the norm is about 20.
The railway project now provides jobs to about 1,000 workers, 65 percent of whom are non-Chinese. A Russian worker, Aleksandr Kolomeytsev, is proud to say he holds a position higher than most of his peers in similar companies.
"I started working for the company two years ago, with a low position. I have hope here, and the company gives opportunities for everyone. I also learn from the Chinese people, how to organize everything."
China's Belt and Road Initiative complements Russia's promotion of the Eurasian Economic Union. With deeper trade and economic cooperation, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries exceeded 100 billion U.S. dollars last year.
Xue says China Railway Construction has benefited from these initiatives. It plans to boost its cooperation with Russia and extend services to other countries in the region.
(For more behind-the-scenes of the story, watch the reporter's diary below.)