China achieved great progress in improving its roads and railways and its civil aviation sector in the ninth Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000).
China is expected to have invested 890 billion yuan (US$107 billion) in the construction of roads by the end of the period. This amount is five times more than that spent on the construction of roads in the previous five-year plan period.
By the end of 2000, China will have 1.4 million kilometers of roads, 240,000 kilometers of which will have been built in the past five years.
The country invested especially heavily in the building of seven major expressways across China in the period.
By the end of 2000, 12,000 kilometers of those seven arterial roads will have been finished, accounting for 72 percent of their total length.
The remaining 4,000 kilometers is expected to be finished in the early part of the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-05).
The quality of roads has also improved in the past five years.
China will have 15,000 kilometers of expressways and 185,000 kilometers of second standard roads by the end of this year.
High quality roads will account for 13.2 percent of the nation's total road length. The proportion in 1995 was 8.4 percent.
As for the railways, China will have invested 245 billion yuan (US$29 billion) in them during the ninth Five-Year Plan period. This is double the amount invested on the railways in the eighth Five-Year Plan period (1991-95).
Some 5,100 kilometers of new railways as well as 3,200 kilometers of dual-track railways and 3,900 kilometers of electric railways are expected to be finished by the end of this year.
Local governments are expected to finish building 700 kilometers of railways by the year end.
By the end of this year, China will have 68,000 kilometers of railtrack under operation, 6,000 kilometers longer than in the eighth Five-Year Plan period.
Some arterial railways linking China's west and south have been brought into operation during the past five years and the pressure on railway transportation between the two regions has consequently greatly decreased.
China invested 92 billion yuan (US$11 billion) on the civil aviation industry in the ninth Five-Year Plan period. Some 66 billion yuan (US$7.9 billion) of this was used to build airports.
By the end of this year, some 40 airports being built or rebuilt in the period will be completed and brought into operation.
China will have 129 civil airports by 2000, 11 more than in 1995.
In 2000, civil flights are expected to carry 64 million passengers, a 63 percent increase from 1995.
China had 278 domestic air routes in 1995, and there are now 990. International flights increased by 45 to hit 130 by this year.
In the past five years, China has developed a convenient air service network covering Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and the country's aero plane maintenance and repair technology has also seen sharp improvement. China now can repair nearly all brands and types of planes in the world.
The nation invested 6 billion yuan (US$720 million) in upgrading its radar and air control systems in the past five years.
China has now mastered advanced airspace regulation and guidance systems for both the civil and the military aviation sectors.
(China Daily 10/30/2000)