China / Society

China builds railway bridge across the income gap

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-05-15 21:41

NANNING - A high-speed train left impoverished Sanjiang county in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Sunday and three hours late arrived in Guangzhou, 400 kilometers away.

Sunday witnessed China's biggest railway expansion for ten years with nearly new 300 pairs of trains.

Most of the new trains link small cities in Central and West China with metropolises and hopes are high that better connectivity means increased prosperity.

Wu Yunsong, Party chief of Pingyan village in Sanjiang expects to see visitors from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

In fact, the county has benefitted since 2014 from a high-speed train service between Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province, and Guangzhou via Sanjiang.

"The train brings more than 2,000 visitors to Sanjiang each day," Wu said. "About 60 percent of villagers are profiting from tourism, at least 100 yuan (about $15.3) a day."

Better transportation has also helped farmers. A cargo service has brought fruit and vegetables from Guangxi directly to Beijing since the end of 2013.

In the last five years, about 1.85 trillion yuan was spent on railways in central and western areas, with about 23,000 kilometers of new lines opened. Last year, 9,531 kilometers of new lines went into operation at a cost of 824 billion yuan (about $127 billion).

China plans to spend 3.5 trillion yuan in the next five years on more than 30,000 kilometers of new track, with central and western parts key to the plan.

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