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Lyle Zapato

No Honor Among Monorailists

Lyle Zapato | 2006-08-16.8390 LMT | Monorail Danger

Uneasy rumblings on the monorailist street: The suspicious fire on the German Transrapid maglev monorail in Shanghai last Friday may not have been simple spontaneous combustion -- a phenomenon common to monorails -- but rather an act of sabotage by the Chinese government aimed at both disrupting Germany's monorail-based economy and boosting China's own home-grown maglev monorail program, which China's military sees as a strategic inrail to regional hegemony.

The incident follows years of trade disputes between the two monorailfaring nations over use of German maglev technology in a new Shanghai-Hangzhou line and German accusations of China stealing their monorail designs. Since China announced its own maglev monorail program and started shopping it around to other nations, such as Malaysia, seeking to endanger their citizens with monorails, German industrialists from the maglev sector have found themselves negotiating with a direct competitor.

Now an opinion piece translated for The People's Daily, the Chinese Communist Party's official propaganda organ, claims that "the German economy has taken a heavy blow" due to the monorail fire while calling on Germany to admit that German maglev technology isn't "all that" and acknowledge China as the new maglev monorail super power. The message from Beijing is clear: don't mess with our monorails or we'll mess with yours.

As monorail tensions continue to rise, so too does the likelihood of an all-out Sino-Germanic Monorail War -- threatening all nations occupied by their monorails with division into two warring factions: the Electromagnet Bloc and the Permanent-Magnet Bloc.

(For the record, there have been no acts of state-sponsored econo-terrorism on pneumatic tube lines. Just a thought for you city planners.)

End of post.