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Xinjiang to Spend 5.4 Bln Yuan in Highway Construction

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Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will spend 5.4 billion yuan (US$790.6 million) in the next two months to speed up highway construction, said a senior transport official on Tuesday.

Wang Xinhua, Communist Party chief of the regional transport department, said a record high 15 billion yuan has been earmarked for highway construction in Xinjiang this year, and the region has finished 6 billion yuan worth of projects as of the end of last month.

Speeding up development is the best way to fight the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, which is blamed for the deadly July 5 riot in Urumqi, said Wang.

One billion yuan out of the massive investment over the next two months will be used to build roads in rural areas, the official said.

Xinjiang plans to build 20,000 km of new expressways and highways this year.

Xinjiang has 3,361 km of highways in 1949. By the end of 2008, it has a total highway mileage of 147,000 km, ranking 10th in the country.

(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2009)

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