China plans 30,000-km high speed rail network by 2020

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 file photo, China's CRH high-speed trains sit on tracks at a maintenance base in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province. The Chinese government is planning to expand the country's high-speed rail network to 30,000 kilometers (18,600 miles) by 2020, part of public infrastructure spending aimed at shoring up economic growth. (AP Photo, File)

BEIJING — The Chinese government plans to expand the country's high-speed rail network to 30,000 kilometers (18,600 miles) by 2020, part of public infrastructure spending aimed at shoring up economic growth.

The network would connect more than 80 percent of China's major cities, Vice Transport Minister Yang Yudong said. Last year, China's high-speed railway totaled 19,000 kilometers (11,800 miles).

Overall, China plans to invest 3.5 trillion yuan ($504 billion) in railway construction between this year and 2020, Yang said. He was speaking at a briefing introducing plans to improve the country's transportation services.

The plans call for the renovation of expressways and faster construction of railways to serve less-developed regions in central and western China.

Economic growth has steadily slowed over the past six years as communist leaders seek to wean the economy off manufacturing and exports in favor of more self-sustaining growth based on consumer spending.

In the last two years, officials have responded with ramped up spending on construction of highways and other public works.

On Wednesday, China began operating a new high-speed rail line linking the financial hub of Shanghai in the east with Kunming, the capital of southwestern Yunnan province, a poorer region.

The line spans 2,252 kilometers (1,400 miles) across five provinces, cutting travel time to 11 hours from 35 hours, state media reported.

People also read these

Global markets mixed after Wall Street loss

Dec 23, 2016

Asian markets are mostly lower while Europe has gained in early trading ahead of the Christmas...

China exports shrink as Trump trade tensions loom

Jan 13, 2017

China's exports fell back into contraction again last month, signaling renewed weakness for the...

A look at how Trump might shake things up in Asia

Jan 16, 2017

Donald Trump has offered views on U.S. relations with Asia that could indicate radical shifts in...

World stocks turn lower as investors monitor volatile dollar

Jan 18, 2017

World stocks are mostly lower after a sharp drop in the dollar sapped investor enthusiasm

China faces political conflicts in moves to cut debt burden

Jan 25, 2017

Chinese leaders face conflicting political pressures as they begin tackling a swelling mountain of...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com