Dienstag, 16. August 2011

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Chinese Railways

In the current issue of The Economist (August 13th – 19th 2011) one can read an exciting article, you will never find in any German weekly: “The Queensway syndicate and the Africa trade“ (p. 15 ff.) Subject is et al. the Queensway Group in Hong Kong, famous for insiders as a shadowy and complex Chinese structure of firms, some of them intelligence and/or government related and well known for its (Chinese) wall: no or few informations as possible about the business, network, financial engagements and contracts.

One figure to name – and the mentioned article name him – is Mr. Sam Pa, maybe one of the spiders in the network, maybe the one and only spider. Concerning to him The Economist writes about “a 2009 American congressional report”, which is of course a great source for every Asian intelligence researcher. For understanding Chinese (intelligence) activities in Africa and elsewhere check the firms and persons mentioned in this and other reports, make an update of the personal status and connect the dots. There are more than only the big players as China International Fund or China Sonangol. The Queensway syndicate was asked by The Economist about a few points dealing with African politics. And of course: They heard nearly nothing. But this is not only the case with Chinese stubborn quasi governmental firms. It can be the same problem with German stubborn quasi governmental firms: Look at the Deutsche Bahn (DB).

A time ago I read this:

“DB and Chinese rail ministry to ramp up cooperation 11. Dezember 2010

Deutsche Bahn and the Chinese railways ministry have plans to cooperate more closely in railfreight transport and in expanding Chinese rail infrastructure. Both parties confirmed their intention of strengthening railfreight operations between Asia and Europe and to step up the establishment of new transportation options. In 2010 DB International won bids for five construction supervision projects for nine high-speed routes in China. The total contract volume is worth around EUR 30 million. (ben)“

Source: http://www.transportjournal.com/index.php?id=425&tx_ttnews[pS]=1292572144&tx_ttnews[pointer]=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=20919&tx_ttnews[backPid]=505&cHash=d1fe8b32427e8db7c47188f594d02d87 (16.08.2011)

An elder press release said this:


On December 14, 2005 China's national rail operator opened its European representation in Berlin. The offices are the outcome of an agreement over closer cooperation in the railway sector between Germany and the People's Republic of China. The agreement was signed in Beijing June 6, 2005 by the then German Transport Minister Manfred Stolpe and his Chinese counterpart, Liu Zhijun. As the official representation for the Chinese rail ministry in Europe, the offices will primarily be responsible for coordinating economic, technical and staff-related cooperation between China's railways and rail operators in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Another key aim will be to improve container transportation between China and Europe….”

Source: http://www.berlin-partner.de/en/informationspool/presse/current-press-information/single-view/view/germany-and-china-strengthen-r.html (16.08.2011)

Chinese Railways is not just a company. It’s a synonym for the Chinese political system and Chinese Railways is part of a powerful system, “far less understood…”, but members of this system, “-its banks, local-government “financing platforms”, securities companies and corporations – affect the country´s economic choices and development path. Of course, behind these entities lies the Communist Party of China”. I suggest to one of the best books about Chinese economics I ever read and which I took the citation from: Red Capitalism. The Fragile Financial Foundation of China´s Extraordinary Rise” (Carl E. Walter and Fraser J. T. Howie, Singapore 2011).

I could go on with describing the role of the intelligence structure of the Chinese Communist Party and their way to infiltrate, building up front companies etc., but here I want to point out the role of Chinese Railways. Their position in a network was described by Alex Vines, Lillian Wong, Markus Weimer and Indira Campos:

It would take time to describe the connections which are mentioned here, but clear to see the link to CIF(L), which is to find in the offices of the 88 Queensway Group.

To read in the US congressional report: “Contracts for projects financed by CIFL are reserved for companies selected by the 88 Queensway Group. These projects have been awarded to two types of companies: 1) Chinese construction companies with connections to individuals involved in the 88 Queensway Group, including China Railway 20th Bureau Group Corporation…”.

And Germany? What the hell is Chinese Railways doing in Berlin? They call it their Representative office in Europe:

Hm… a representative office without email and apparently no one to see at normal (!) office hours.

Chinese Railways Representative Office in Europe
Maerkisches Ufer 28
10179 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 30 2345 8710
Fax.: +49 30 2478 1332

Other people snooped on them in earlier times, as John Alexander Symonds in his “Romeo Spy” mentioned in one small sentence. Ok, so I did it the usual way and asked them with a fake account via their Chinese email for a contact. Their answer was short and simple: rui@wl89.com. That was all.

But what about the Deutsche Bahn? First I asked the “Eisenbahn Bundesamt”. As the German governmental office for all aspects of the German railway system they should know it. They answered me immediately, but sorry: There seems to be no information at their desks. So I asked Deutsche Bahn. They are partners of Chinese Railways and they must know something about them.

On April 15th 2011 I wrote Deutsche Bahn an email:

“können Sie mir einen Ansprechpartner (Email) von Ihrem Geschäftspartner "China Railways" in Berlin nennen?“

On May 5th 2011 I reminded Deutsche Bahn on my first email. They answered me on the same day:

“ …Ihre Anfrage haben wir am 15. April umgehend an den Fachbereich
Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Angelika Theidig
PR&Interne Kommunikation DB-Konzern
(GKU 2)

DB Mobility Logistics AG
Potsdamer Platz 2, 10785 Berlin
Tel. 030 297-61546, intern 999-...“

On May 27 th 2011 I reminded Deutsche Bahn again:

„Sehr geehrte Frau Theidig,

heute, also über einen Monat später, habe ich weiterhin keinerlei Reaktion Ihres Fachbereiches erhalten. Können Sie da bitte nochmal nachhaken?“

On June 9 th 2011 I reminded Deutsche Bahn again and again no reaction:

„Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

mir wäre es lieber,wenn Sie mir offen mitteilen würden, dass Sie mir nicht behilflich sein wollen. Damit kann ich leben und ich kann diese Information dann entsprechend in meinen Text einfliessen lassen.
Ich erinnere Sie also noch einmal höflich an meine Anfrage.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen...“

My conclusion: Deutsche Bahn is not better than Chinese Railways. Both seems to be shrouded in secrecy, but why? The difference is that I can´t go to the Chinese and force them to talk with me. But Deutsche Bahn is getting my money, at least for permanently (often for hours) delayed trains. Why are they so interested in letting me not know? They are working together with a firm, which stands in a network of intelligence and governmental interests. And as I wrote in my essay about the Chinese and North Korean intelligence cooperation: Firms like Chinese Railways are often some kind of front companies. In this case the Chinese agents have only a few meters to their embassy.