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One million kilometers of highway needed by 2020
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China needs to build another one million kilometers of highway by 2020 and upgrade its existing network to cater to transport needs, said vice minister of Communications Feng Zhenglin on Friday.

Passenger and freight transport via highways at that time are expected to be 149 percent and 40 percent more respectively than in 2006, he said.

By 2020, it is forecast that there will be an estimated 36.5 billion passenger trips and 20 billion tons of goods moving along the country's highways annually, the official said at a symposium on highway construction in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

China currently has 3.457 million kilometers of highway, about 36 kilometers for every 100 square kilometers of area.

However, Feng said nearly half of the country's highways, or more than 1.6 million kilometers of road, were of low level and needed upgrading. At the end of this year, the country will have an estimated 53,000 kilometers of expressways.

China spent 623.1 billion yuan (US$21.8 billion) in highway construction in 2006 and is expected to spend 660 billion yuan this year.

(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2007)

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