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December 31, 2002: Zhu, Schroeder open ‘maglev’ train line

Today in History: December 31, 2002: Zhu, Schroeder open ‘maglev’ train line

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Chinese premier Zhu Rongji and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder ride the world's first commercial magnetic levitation train in Shanghai - Gulf News Archives
Gulf News

Zhu, Schroeder open ‘maglev’ train line

2002 - Germany’s leader and the Chinese premier took an inaugural ride on the world’s first commercial magnetically levitated high-speed train service — a gleaming addition to China’s most populous city that cost $1.2 billion (Dh4.41 billion) to build. Shanghai hopes the futuristic “maglev” train will burnish its image as a global business and technology centre. The world’s first commercial magnetic-levitation train performed flawlessly on its maiden voyage, hitting 430 km/h between Shanghai’s gleaming financial district and the three-year-old Pudong airport. A German-built high-tech marvel, the train can outrun a Second World War fighter plane by riding above its track suspended by powerful magnets.

December 31

1810 - Russia’s Czar Alexander introduces new tariffs aimed at French goods.

1851 - Austrian Constitution is abolished.

1857 - Britain’s Queen Victoria decides to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.

1879 - Thomas A. Edison demonstrates his electric incandescent light for the first time.

1909 - Manhattan Bridge opens in New York.

1923 - The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.

1946 - US President Harry Truman officially proclaims end of Second World War.

1956 - President Sukarno proclaims a state of siege in Sumatra, Indonesia.

1961 - Lebanon’s army prevents coup attempt in Beirut by Syrian Popular Party.

1963 - Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is dissolved.

1974 - Private US citizens are allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.

1981 - President Hilla Limann’s civilian government in Ghana is overthrown in a military coup.

1983 - Nigerian armed forces topple President Shehu Shagari in a bloodless coup.

1987 - Robert Mugabe is sworn in as Zimbabwe’s first president.

1989 - India and Pakistan agree not to attack each others’ nuclear facilities.

1991 - Representatives of North Korea and South Korea agree not to use nuclear weapons.

1995 - Algerian President Liamine Zeroual appoints Ahmad Ouyahia as Prime Minister.

1999 - The eight-day-long hijack of an Indian Airlines aircraft ends in Kandahar after Indian government releases three jailed militants.

2004 - Taipei 101, the world’s tallest skyscraper at that time with a height of 509 metres, is inaugurated.

2011 - North Korea leader Kim Jong-un is officially named supreme commander of the military.

2013 - Bangladesh’s Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Jabbar is killed in clashes in western Meherpur district.

2016 - United Nations Security Council unanimously approves Syria peace plan.