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Chinese Railways to Have Reforms in Joint-stock System

The Chinese Railways Ministry will carry out joint-stock pilot projects, so as to speed up the railways'system reforms, said Chinese Railways Minister Liu Zhijun in Beijing on Sunday.

He said China's railways departments will actively seek domestic and overseas investors, set up standardized joint-stock companies and collect capitals from the society in forms of joint-stocks, so as to explore new ways of railways construction and administration.

As the railway industry is one of the few monopoly industries in China, its reform has always been a focus of public attention at home and abroad. China's railway departments are in their way to explore multi-channel financing systems in railway construction, Liu said.

He said this year China will further deepen reforms in professional transportation companies, and balance the economic relations between various sectors, so as to realize a sustainable and fast development of the railway transportation.

He also noted that the Chinese Railways Ministry will try out making assessments of business achievements of 14 railways bureaus and 3 professional transportation companies.

He said in the new year the railways departments of the whole country will speed up basic reforms, and make efforts to promote the reforms of investment and financing systems.

Nation to see railway construction peak

China is to see another peak period of railway construction in the coming years, which aims to relieve the transportation pressure and meet the needs of rapid economic growth.

China's railway length is expected to extend from 72,000 kilometers to 100,000 kilometers by 2020 and the technical equipment will near international level, said Chinese Railways Minister Liu Zhijun here Sunday at a working conference.

The investment in railway will increase greatly in 2004, the first year of China's railway construction blueprint, said Liu.

China will also launch a series of new railway projects this year, and much reconstruction work will be carried out to improve the transportation efficiency, said Liu.

The medium-term and long-term goal of railway construction was described in a blueprint on China's railway network, which was passed on Jan. 7 at a meeting held by the State Council.
(Xinhua News Agency February 23, 2004)

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