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Railway reforms to deliver multiple dividends

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-22 10:54

Narrowing development gap

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited a railway construction site in northwest China's Gansu province last Sunday.

It is part of the Lanzhou-Chongqing railway line that runs through mountainous areas where millions of villagers live and have long expected railway lines to extend to their homes.

During the inspection tour, Li said China will prioritize railway development in western regions, particularly the poor areas, to open up the gate that could lead to wealth for local people.

With increasing railway links, Li said China will encourage more labor-intensive and environmentally-friendly industries to move to the west, creating jobs for people living in nearby areas.

Railway expert Sun Zhang said as transportation improves in the central and western regions, their economies will enter a new phase of development.

Growing private capital

According to the State Council plan, China will open the ownership and management rights of intercity, suburban and branch railways as well as railways for resources transportation to private capital.

Besides, a railway development fund will be established, inviting private capital participation. Under the mechanism, private investors will not directly take part in the construction and management of railway projects, but the fund will guarantee stable and reasonable returns for investors.

Professor Xu Guangjian said the reform measures provide a platform linking private capital with railway development.

The Chinese government has been making efforts to break up monopolies and gradually open its financial, energy, railways and other sectors to private capital, as it seeks new momentum for development and ensures that the benefits of reforms will reach the entire population.

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