China's high-speed rail network hit the 40,000-kilometer mark by the end of 2021, reaching out to 93% of domestic cities with a population of over 500,000, An Lusheng, Deputy Director of the National Railway Administration, said. This comes as the country ramps up a push to build itself into a transportation power. Over the past decade, the cumulative railway fixed-asset investment has topped CNY7 trillion, with an addition of 52,000 kilometers to the country's railway network. As of the end of last year, the country's railways totaled 150,000 kilometers, including the 40,000 kilometers of high-speed rail. The railway network covers 81% of the country's counties, while high-speed rail services have been accessible to domestic cities with population of over 500,000.
Xu Chengguang, Vice Minister of Transport, revealed plans for major transportation projects, as the country aims to increase infrastructure investment ahead of schedule as part of broad-based efforts to stabilize the economy. Strategically significant projects such as the Sichuan-Tibet railway and its auxiliary road are being built at a quicker pace. Last year, the average daily number of ships entering and leaving domestic ports exceeded 69,000, and about 26,800 flights took off and landed every day across the country. In addition, the country's courier sector handled nearly 300 million parcels on a daily basis, according to Xu. In the peak traveling season, more than 10,000 passenger train trips are made each day on average, while expressways record over 60 million trips, he disclosed, stressing that the data speak volumes about a country on the move that demonstrates its prosperous vitality, the Global Times reports.
From 2012 to the end of last year, China had added about 1.1 million kilometers of railway lines and roads, a distance long enough to circle the equator over 27 times. In the past decade, 82 airports were built, relocated or renovated, bringing the total number of airports in China to 250, said Dong Zhiyi, Deputy Director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). China’s aviation network has 5,581 air routes, with more than 3,000 added in the past 10 years, the China Daily adds.