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Sat March 06 2021

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China gives go-ahead for another £6.9bn of rail projects

1 Dec 14 The Chinese government has approved construction of four railway lines worth US$10.79bn (£6.9bn) - the third tranche of new rail projects given the go-ahead in a month.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced that the new railway lines will run in Jilin Province, Chongqing, Shaanxi Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

By the end of October, the country had invested 590 billion yuan (£66.4bn) in railway projects, or 74% of the total earmarked for railways this year, said Fei Zhirong, head of NDRC’s infrastructure bureau. This year’s target of 800 billion yuan will be achieved, he added.

China plans to operate 7,000km of new railway lines this year, although only about 32%  was in use as of October, he said.

The country stepped up its pace of infrastructure investment in recent months to bolster the cooling economy, which is pressured by a slowdown in the manufacturing sector and an ongoing property downturn.

In the third quarter, China’s economy grew at its slowest pace since the global financial crisis and is likely to register its weakest annual growth rate in more than 10 years.

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