In the mainstream, Agenda 21 is a toothless United Nations environmental initiative for sustainable development. For the Tea Party fringe, it is a conspiracy staple: a UN-created, George Soros-funded plan for leftists in the government to destroy freedom and private property by setting up a chain of gulags along passenger rail lines full of bike paths and clean air but no cars or liberty.
Enamored of the energy of the Tea Party, the Republican leadership, especially Newt Gingrich, and Fox News have flirted with legitimizing Agenda 21. Agenda 21 Cassandras figured prominently in the public outcry that doomed the only high-speed rail project in the US other than California's: the Florida HSR.
Attitudes like this should dissuade Xi Jinping that the PRC will be welcomed as the savior of California's high-speed rail system:
Oooh baby ... High-speed rail owned and operated by the Chinese throughout the US. ... Roads, sewer systems, and water systems will be owned by the Chinese. ... I can see it now. We lose our rural roads - pulverized to gravel. Our private vehicle usage is limited, restricted, and taxed. Our bus service will be declared insolvent and not cost effective. High-speed rail will be the only way to travel.
Fully owned and operated by the Chinese. In our country. Airport-style searches. Restricted use tickets. Overcrowding. Limited line service. Why? Because we can't maintain our own infrastructure? Can we maintain our sovereignty? Just wondering.
Image of Hukuang bond from scripophily.net