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18 Apr, 2015

China to boost railway construction in central, western regions: premier

CHONGQING, April 11 (Xinhua) — China will speed up railway construction in central and western regions to lend steam to economic growth, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang noted Saturday.

Railway construction is crucial to steadying growth, economic restructuring and improving public welfare and China will continue to focus on developing major railway projects in central and western regions to boost growth, Premier Li Keqiang sent the message to a work conference on regional railway development held in southwestern Chongqing Municipality.

Local governments should reform investment and financing mechanism such as introducing more social capital to support railway project development and make coordinated efforts to streamline administrative approval and facilitate land acquisition and relocation, Li noted.

China aims to invest over 800 billion yuan (130.36 billion U.S. dollars) in railway construction to put more than 8000 kilometers additional railway lines into operation, generally the same with last year’s target.

Local governments should optimize construction management of current projects, ensure timely and smooth running of operational railways, start new projects orderly and maintain high quality and work safety throughout the projects, Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai said at the meeting.

Related departments such as railway bureaus should work together to improve efficiency, expand financing channels and address land acquisition and relocation challenges, Ma added.