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China interested in Singapore-Malaysia high-speed rail, Chile ports: Xinhua

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China is keen to help build a Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail link and also to get involved in Chilean and Australian railway and port projects, state media and the government cited Premier Li Keqiang as saying on Monday.

[SHANGHAI] China is keen to help build a Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail link and also to get involved in Chilean and Australian railway and port projects, state media and the government cited Premier Li Keqiang as saying on Monday.

The interest, expressed at meetings with the leaders of Malaysia, Chile and Australia on the sidelines of a gathering of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders, comes amid growing efforts by China to export its rail technology and take part in overseas projects.

Mr Li told Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak China was willing to "actively participate" in the Singapore-Malaysia high-speed rail, the official Xinhua news agency reported. It did not provide details.

Singapore and Malaysia said in February last year that they planned to build a high-speed rail link by 2020 that would cut travel time between the city-state and Kuala Lumpur to 90 minutes, without giving a cost estimate.

In a separate on Monday meeting with Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, Mr Li said China was keen to take part in Chile's rail, ports and utility projects and also to widen its involvement in South American construction projects, Xinhua said.

MR Li also met with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and told him China would support its firms in investing in Australia's railway and airport projects to promote regional economic cooperation, according to China's foreign ministry.

Chinese railway companies have been ramping up efforts to win contracts overseas, particularly in the area of high-speed rail. On Friday, the sector was dealt a blow when Mexico cancelled a US$3.75 billion high-speed rail billion contract from a China-led consortium, which had been a key first win.

The Chinese government on Saturday said it would contribute US$40 billion to set up a Silk Road infrastructure fund to boost connectivity across Asia. Last month, it unveiled a US$50 billion China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

REUTERS