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Rail line plan from mainland to Taiwan

THE Chinese mainland is planning a cross-Taiwan Strait rail line linking Beijing with Taipei, Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun said on Wednesday.

The line will run via Fuzhou, capital of Fujian Province, said Liu.

The cross-strait railway network, with its hub in Fujian Province, may also cover the inland cities of Kunming, Yunnan Province in southwest China, and Hefei in east China's Anhui Province, according to the plan.

In a meeting with Liu on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, Lu Zhangong, Party secretary of Fujian Province, also proposed a rail line that links Xiamen in Fujian and Kaohsiung in Taiwan.

The ministry has been boosting railway construction in the coastal province of Fujian, planning 6,000 kilometers of rail inside the province by 2015 with a total investment of 350 billion yuan (US$51.5 billion).

The railway network is expected to lay a foundation of transport infrastructure for the "cross-strait economic zone" proposed by some members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference during their annual session.

The zone may cover Fujian, provinces around it and Taiwan, according to the proposal. The shortest distance between Xiamen and Taiwan is only 1,800 meters.

Fujian has started construction on a high-speed rail line linking Fuzhou and Xiamen. The rail line is scheduled to be completed in July and put into use in November.


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