SHANGHAI -- The focus of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s trip to China on Thursday intersected with one of the most controversial issues of his governorship -- high-speed rail.
Brown rode a bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai, walking the aisles, shaking hands with Chinese passengers, and marveling at the country’s construction of more than 5,000 miles of high-speed railroad in less than a decade.
Brown was joined by Dan Richard, the head of California's high-speed rail board, and representatives of the Chinese company that designed and built the train.
As the train hit top speeds in excess of 180 mph, the governor, who has made a high-speed train a centerpiece of his long-term vision for the state, had rave reviews.
“I like it because I can read and it’s easy to get on,” he said. Brown brought his own reading material for the five-hour trip -- a copy of the Chinese government’s five-year plan.
Brown also said he liked the fact that he can walk the aisles during the journey.
“I’m restless,” the governor said.
Brown has a full itinerary. He will officially open the state’s new trade office here Friday and attend events promoting state agriculture and tourism. In between, he will be the guest of honor at a traditional Chinese banquet lunch, hosted by local government officials.