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China to speed up infrastructure construction in remote regions
[BEIJING] China will speed up construction in remote rural areas of transport infrastructure including airports and railways and highways, the cabinet said on Wednesday.
The country aims to build a comprehensive, high-quality transportation network in poor regions by 2020, the State Council, or cabinet, said in a notice posted on the government website.
It said it would lay a million kilometres of roads, renovate bridges and improve transport conditions to allow the development of tourism in poor regions.
The programme includes at least 100 highway, railway and airport projects.
The infrastructure programme would "drive effective investment, expand employment, enhance the poverty alleviation effects of transportation and bring benefits to millions of people", the council said.
A jump in steel and concrete output in March suggested that the government is relying on credit-fueled infrastructure investment to support the slowing economy.
China said last week that its gross domestic product in the first quarter grew by 6.7 per cent on the year, its weakest level since early 2009.
But industrial output, exports and retail sales were all surprisingly strong in the first three months, reducing the urgency for more stimulus steps, according to policy advisers.