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Hebei to Speed up Rural Highway Construction
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A five-year guidelines mapped out by north China's Hebei Province stresses the need to accelerate rural highway construction in a bid to promote local rural economic development.

The province will invest a total of 17 billion yuan (about US$2.125 billion) in road construction projects in its rural areas during the country's 11th Five-Year Guidelines (2006-2010) for National Economic and Social Development.

According to a work conference of the Hebei provincial government in the sector of traffic reform, the money will be used to build or rebuild roads linking thousands of villages across the province, totaling of 46,000 kilometers.

Meanwhile, Hebei will build abundant new bridges and reconstruct current bridges across the province with a total length of 35,000 meters.

During the 10th-Five-Year Guidelines (2001-2005) period, the province built more than 51,000 kilometers of blacktop roads in rural areas. The figure equals the total rural road length built in the province over a 51-year period from 1949 to 2000.

By the end of 2005, a traffic network of blacktop roads have shaped up in the province's rural areas, providing economically backward counties and remote villages access to the outside world.

China is making efforts to accelerate rural reform and governments at all levels are working hard to improve agricultural infrastructure, such as road construction, telecommunications and electricity networks in rural areas.

(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2006)

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