Daley Rides the Rails in China

Mayor Richard Daley seemed impressed by his trip and VIP tour of a Chinese high-speed bullet train this week.

"It's remarkable what you've done throughout the country, and you have the willingness to do it and you understand the infrastructure provides you a global competitiveness," he said.

Daley traveled from the Chinese capital city of Beijing to Tianjin about 30 miles away.  The ride took just 20 minutes.

"I'm kind of envious when you come to China to see all the progress they have made," he said.

Daley wants to build a similar high-speed rail line in Chicago, linking the downtown to O'Hare International Airport. 

Attracting investors to help pay for the line, perhaps even run it, is one of the main reasons Daley is in the Asian country.

"It is to be the first of its kind in the nation where you connect the airport to the downtown heart of the city, which is vital to the economic future of the airport, our tourists, our businesses, our conventioneers," Daley told a Chinese reporter.

He has said a high-speed rail line to O'hare would would be faster than the Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line.

Promoting business and tourism is another big part of the mayor's five-city trip.  He launched a campaign to sell Chicago as "the heart of America."

"Its goal is to describe Chicago's strength as a great place to do business, to make Chicago the most China-friendly city in the United States of America. And that is my goal," he said.

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