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October 25, 2016

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China on track to meet rail FAI goal

CHINA is on track to fulfill its annual railway investment target as its fixed-asset investment for the sector hit 542.3 billion yuan (US$80 billion) in the first three quarters, up 10.3 percent year on year, according to the latest data.

State investment rose 12 percent to 517.1 billion yuan during the period, according to data released yesterday by China Railway, a state-owned enterprise under the management of the central government.

Insiders say China has seen a railway construction boom since the beginning of this year and will probably exceed the annual railway fixed-asset investment target of 800 billion yuan.

China has planned 45 railway projects for 2016, with more than 3,200 kilometers of new rail lines, including 1,300 kilometers of high-speed rail lines.

The country’s top economic planner said earlier this month that it has approved feasibility reports for two railway projects with total investment of 79.47 billion yuan.

The two projects would be located in the underdeveloped western regions, including Guizhou Province, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to statements on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.

China has a vast and efficient railway network, but construction has lagged behind in the less developed western regions.

The approval came as the government looks to boost infrastructure investment in needy areas to support faltering economic growth.

Local governments also stepped up railway construction.

A high-speed train left impoverished Sanjiang County in Guangxi on May 15 and three hours later arrived in Guangzhou, 400 kilometers away.

That day marked China’s biggest railway expansion for 10 years with nearly 150 new routes. Most of the new trains link small cities in central and western China with metropolises.


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