China's capital Beijing started building a new subway line on Friday.
The 27.6-km subway, Line Five, will have 16.9 km and 16 stations underground and 10.7 km and six stations above ground.
The south-north artery will run from Songjiazhuang in southern Fengtai District to Taipingzhuang in eastern Changping District, connecting the five districts of Fengtai, Chongwen, Dongcheng, Chaoyang and Changping.
It will also run through some of the city's major residential and downtown areas and become a major line to serve the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, officials say.
Beijing has 54 km of subway operating at present. The total length of subway and light railway in operation is expected to reach 300 km by the year 2008.
To this end, the city government plans to invest 10 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion) each year in subway and light railway construction.
(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2002)