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China to spend $2.2trn on transportation by 2020

The world’s second-largest economy invested $411bn in transportation projects last year.

China plans to spend 15 trillion yuan ($2.17 billion; €2.1 billion) on expanding and upgrading its transportation networks over the five years through 2020, according to its Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng. 

The State Council issued detailed implementation guidelines on transportation infrastructure related to its 13th Five-Year Plan early this week, calling for 3.5 trillion yuan of spending on railways, 7.8 trillion yuan on roads and 500 billion yuan on waterway transport. 

Under the plan, high-speed railways will reach 30,000km by 2020, compared to 19,000km in 2015. They will cover over 80 percent of cities, with more than one million permanent residents. The total length of road networks is expected to reach 5m km, including 150,000km of expressways. The country also aims to build more than 50 civil airports, with a budget for aviation of about 650 billion yuan. 

The latest plan includes a push to expand oil and gas pipeline networks, aiming to reach 165,000km. 

The State Council encouraged transportation enterprises to go abroad, participate in the construction of overseas transport infrastructure and promote the export of China-made equipment. 

Li said at a press conference in Beijing that the government spent 2.84 trillion yuan on transportation projects in 2016, the five-year plan’s first year. In 2017, China will deploy at least 2.6 trillion yuan into railways, roads and waterway transport, Chinese news agency Xinhua said, quoting data from the transport ministry. 

The State Council said the country spent 13.4 trillion yuan on transport infrastructure during the previous Five-Year Plan period, 2011-2015.