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China Encourages Foreign Investment in Railway

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/10/23; October 23, 2001.]

XINHUA [Official Chinese News Agency]
BEIJING, October 23, 2001.

Wang Linshu, chief engineer of the Ministry of Railways disclosed that China's railway sector would speed up the formulation of policies and regulations to encourage foreign investment in China's railway sector according to the requirements of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Wang made the remarks at the 2001 Western Forum of China, which was held recently in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province.

According to Wang, by the end of 2000, a total of 23,700 kilometers of railways in western China was in operation, accounting for 34.8 percent of the country's total. However, the railway network in the west is still at a low technical standard, and has less connection with railways in the east and central China and very few international passageways. It cannot meet the needs of economic and social development in the west.

Wang noted that the focus on western China railway construction in the next five years would include the acceleration of double-tracking of the Baoji-Lanzhou section of the Lanzhou-Lianyungang Railway, the Xi' an-Hefei section of the Xi'an-Nanjing Railway, trouble-tracking of the Zhuzhou-Liupanshui Railway, the Suining-Chongqing-Huaihua Railway, double-tracking of the Lanzhou-Wuwei (S) sections of the Lanzhou-Xinjiang Railway, the Wangzhou-Zhicheng (Yichang) Railway, double-tracking of the Kunming-Zhanyi section of the Guiyang-Kunming Railway, and the study of a shortcut railway linking northwest China with north China.

China will speed up the construction of passageways linking up all provinces and regions in the west. It will build the Shenmu (N) -Yan'an (N) Railway, the Xi' an-Ankang Railway, Anbian-Meihuanshan section of the Neijiang-Kunming Railway, the Shuicheng-Baiguo Railway and the Xilin Hot-Sangen Dalai Railway. It will expand the capacity of Xi'ning-Golmud section of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and the Nanning-Kunming Railway, double-track Litang-Nanning section of the Hunan-Guangxi Railway, and electrify the Zhanyi-Baiguo Railway and the Neijiang-Yibin Railway. Projects under construction, double-tracking or electrification including Golmud-Lhasa section of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, Ankang-Daxian section of the Xiangyu line, the Yongzhou-Yulin (or Maoming) railway section, the Yan'an (N)-Xinfengzheng Railway, the Guizhou-Guangxi Railway, the north Xinjiang Railway and Houma-Xi'an Railway.

China will speed up the construction of international passageways including the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway and a new railway to link up neighboring countries via its Yunnan Province.

According to Wang, the above plans will require a sum of 127 billion yuan, about 50 percent of the total investment in railway construction. By the end of 2005, the western China railway network will extend to 27,500 kilometers, accounting for 36.7 percent of the country's total railways in operation.

Wang noted that the construction would mainly rely on China's own efforts while attracting foreign investment and key railway technology to promote joint venture and cooperation.

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