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County Roads to Facilitate West China Development

Xinhua, 3 November 2001

BEIJING, November 3 (Xinhua) -- China has to build roads in more than 280 counties in 15 western provinces and autonomous regions, with an investment of 36 billion yuan (4.35 billion U.S. dollars), sources with the Ministry of Communications said Saturday.

Priorities of the project is to ensure at least on asphalt road linking the provincial capital to counties.

Communications Minister Huang Zhendong has said the road project will help improve the traffic conditions in many poor western areas, and build a better environment to attract capital inflow.

In the next ten years, a total of 350,000 kilometers of roads will be built in western China, in addition to 12,600 kilometers of state trunk highways and 15,000 kilometers of inter-province highways. All villages in the west will be connected with roads by that time.

At present, western towns and villages without an access to road account for 91 percent and 57 percent, respectively, of the country's total. To solve the problem, the Chinese government has decided to put 70 percent of the total road construction investment into the western region.

The government also encourages domestic and overseas investors to participate in communications infrastructure construction in western China.