The State Council has approved 2 trillion yuan (US$292 billion) for the construction of a series of railway projects, to help boost economic growth amid the worldwide financial crisis.
Increasing investment in fixed assets has remained a catalyst of China's economic development. By 2010, the total length of China's railway will reach 90,000 km, according to the Ministry of Railways.
A number of major railway projects will be started soon, www.ce.cn - the country's leading economic news portal - quoted Wang Yongping, spokesman for the Ministry of Railways, as saying on Friday.
About 1.2 trillion yuan has already been allocated, he said.
Zheng Xinli, a senior government policy advisor, said: "In 1997, we dealt with the Asian financial crisis by stimulating domestic economic growth by investing in the construction of highways. This time the money will go on improving the rail network."
The National Development and Reform Commission is developing plans to improve the country's railway systems, he said.
(China Daily October 26, 2008)