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Chinese relatives and friends wait for students after the annual college entrance examinations in Beijing Chinese relatives and friends wait for students after the annual college entrance examinations in Beijing, June 8, 2010 (AP photo by Muhammed Muheisen).

The U.S. Is Competing With the Wrong China

Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

A graphic illustration of China’s prowess in building its national high-speed passenger rail network caused a minor sensation as it made the rounds on Twitter last week.

Like a colorful time-lapse photograph, only employing bar graphs instead of, say, plant life, it showed a lively dance of nations contending for leadership in the rollout of high-speed rail, beginning in 1976. In the early years, Japan and France jousted for the crown, looking almost unassailable, only to be matched and then passed by Germany and Spain. Only well into the display, starting in 2003, did a new contender appear and then, in a blink, not just take over the lead, but completely dominate the field.  ...

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