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US$12b to be invested in railway construction
Updated: 2005-01-13 01:33

China will invest 100 billion yuan (about 12 billion US dollars) to build railways in 2005, almost double the amount from 2004, said Liu Zhijun, minister of railways here Wednesday.

During a three-day national meeting on railways, Liu said his ministry will launch 58 new projects and continue the 48 projects from 2004.

The ministry will finish 714 kilometers of new lines, 523 km of double track lines and 875 km of electric rail routes. Work will also start on 805 km of new lines and 396 km of double track lines.

According to the middle and long-term program for railway network that the State Council, or the central government, passed at the beginning of 2004, the ministry launched 48 new projects in 2004, with a total investment of more than 500 billion yuan (60.46 billion US dollars). In 2004 the ministry laid 1,139.6 km of new lines and 630.2 kilometers of double track lines.

In order to enable local governments to be more involved in the building, the ministry signed cooperative agreements with more than 20 provincial governments to build more railways to cope with the need of increasing traffic.

"The ministry has gained support from local governments in using land and expanding money-raising channels."

Moreover, the ministry will draw investments from local governments, businesses and foreign countries to build railways, and it will also issue more bond, Liu said.

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