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Transport loans agreed

THE World Bank said yesterday that it had approved loans totaling US$450 million to finance road and rail projects in central and western China.

The bank's office in China said US$300 million would help finance an 857-kilometer electrified rail line linking Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province, with Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

The project, costing US$12.5 billion, would provide a direct link between some of China's poorest areas and the more developed Pearl River Delta region.

Passenger trains would be able to run at 200km per hour, cutting the travel time from 24 hours to just five.

The new line would also enable freight trains to run at 120km per hour, improving cargo movements between the Pearl River Delta and southwest China, including other western provinces such as Sichuan and Yunnan.

The remaining US$150 million would go to a highway project in central Hubei Province to connect the cities of Yichang and Badong.

About half of the bank's investment in China has gone to transport projects.


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