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Transportation in China

Transportation in the People's Republic of China has improved remarkably starting in the late 1990s as part of a government effort to link the entire nation through a series of expressways. Private car ownership is increasing but remains uncommon, in large part due to government policies designed to make car ownership expensive through the use of taxes and toll roads.

Air travel has increased since the late-1990s but remains out of reach for most ordinary Chinese. Long distance transportation for most Chinese is still dominated by the railways and bus systems.

Railways:
Total: 65,650 km (including 5,400 km of provincial "local" rails)
Standard gauge: 62,050 km 1.435-m gauge (12,150 km electrified; 20,250 km double track)
Narrow gauge: 3,600 km 0.750-m gauge local industrial lines (1998 est.)
(Note: a new total of 68,000 km was estimated for early 1999)

Transrapid (a German maglev company, which has a test track in Emsland, Germany), constructed the first operational maglev railway in the world, from Shanghai to its airport. It was inaugurated in 2002. Commercial expoitation is planned for 2003.

There is an ambitious plan for more high speed rail by 2005.

A 670-mile-long Qinghai-Tibet railroad to Lhasa is currently under construction.

Cities with underground railway systems:

Ditto under construction:


Highways:
Total: 1.21 million km
Paved: 271,300 km (with at least 24,474 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 938,700 km (1998 est.)

Waterways:
110,000 km navigable (1999)

Pipelines:
crude oil 9,070 km; petroleum products 560 km; natural gas 9,383 km (1998)

A major project is the construction of a large natural gas pipeline from Xinjiang to eastern China. The government hopes that this will reduce the use of coal which is responsible for much air pollution.

Ports and harbors:
Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou[?], Huangpu[?], Lianyungang[?], Nanjing, Nantong[?], Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shantou[?], Tianjin, Xiamen, Xingang[?], Yantai, Zhanjiang[?]

Merchant marine:
Total: 1,746 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 16,637,023 GRT/24,552,567 DWT
Ships by type: barge carrier 2, bulk 325, cargo 840, chemical tanker 21, combination bulk 11, combination ore/oil 1, container 125, liquified gas 20, multi-functional large load carrier 5, passenger 8, passenger/cargo 46, petroleum tanker 251, refrigerated cargo 24, roll-on/roll-off 21, short-sea passenger 43, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 1 (1999 est.)

Airports: 206 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 192
Over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 65
1,524 to 2,437 m: 90
914 to 1,523 m: 13
Under 914 m: 6 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 14
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 1 (1996 est.)

See also : People's Republic of China



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