China – Global Shipping, Coal Usage, High Speed Train Corridors (Video Interview with Dr. Claude Comtois)

Memo #155 (Scroll below to see 3 video clips)

Featuring Claude Comtois – claude.comtois [at]

China is a driving force in global shipping, coal usage, and high speed train corridors. Based on a series of lectures at The University of British Columbia in February 2012, Dr. Claude Comtois argues, that in combination these three developments have enormous implications for China and the world.

China’s increasing demand for iron ore, coal, and oil is impacting global shipping, generating increasing demand for larger vessels and new routing patterns. Currently, empty containers from North America and Western Europe return to China quickly to earn higher revenue. In the process, China increases its export to the rest of the world.

Coal consumption will increase in China as the country invests in technology to use coal. But coal burning is not efficient, as evident in aging thermal plants. It also generates large amounts of carbon dioxide. The best and cheapest solution to decreasing coal usage is to develop alternate sources of energy.

High speed trains in China were developed to increase mobility along East coast cities. But they are shaping development in enormous ways, focusing development along rail corridors and dividing people and regions who have access to these corridors from those who do not.

Claude Comtois – Professor, Department of Geography, Université de Montréal.

If you enjoyed this memo, subscribe to our e-newsletter for free and receive new memos 2+ times per week via email.

Part 1 – China and Global Shipping (2:29 min)

Part 2 – Reducing China’s coal consumption (2:48 min)

Part 3 – China’s high speed train corridors (2:01 min)

Related Memos:

  • Our other Memos on China

Print Friendly
About Asia Pacific Memo 176 Articles
Asia Pacific Memo is published by the Institute of Asian Research (IAR) at The University of British Columbia. Distributed weekly, we feature 350 word essays or video interviews on contemporary Asia.