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WB lends US$450 mln for rail, highway projects in China
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The World Bank said Friday it approved loans totaling US$450 million to finance road and rail projects in central and western China.

The World Bank Office in China said US$300 million would help finance a 857-kilometer electrified rail line linking Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province, with Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

The project, costing US$12.5 billion, would provide a direct connection between some of China's poorest areas and the more developed Pearl River Delta region.

Passenger trains would be able to run at 200 km per hour, cutting the travel time from 24 hours to just five hours.

The new line would also enable freight trains to run at 120 km per hour, improving cargo movements between the Pearl River Delta and southwest China, including other western provinces such as Sichuan and Yunnan.

The remaining US$150 million would go to a highway project in central Hubei Province that would connect the cities of Yichang and Badong.

The inter-city highway is part of a bigger network that connects more developed eastern regions with less developed western regions.

About half of the bank's investment in China has gone to transport projects.

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2009)

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