SHANGHAI, July 4 China has approved a 50 billion
yuan ($8.06 billion) plan to build an inter-city rail network in
its western Shaanxi province as it looks to improve transport
links in its less-developed inland regions, state-run regional
The project, approved by the National Development and Reform
Commission on Thursday, will see the government invest in five
projects to build 436 km (271 miles) of rail lines across
Shaanxi's Guanzhong region, the Shaanxi Daily newspaper said.
The official Xinhua news agency confirmed the approval
without stating an investment value for the project. It said
that by 2030 the province would have rail lines spanning 1,484
km (922 miles) centered around Shaanxi's capital of Xi'an.
Shaanxi, which was the eastern terminus of China's ancient
Silk Road trading link with Europe, is key to recent government
plans to build a Silk Road economic belt connecting China to
other Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan and parts of
China has invested billions in expanding its railway
network, in part to support growth as the country's economy
slows. It had a combined railway network of over 100,000 km
(62,000 miles) by the end of last year, 10 percent of which was
high-speed rail, Xinhua reported.
($1 = 6.2066 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)