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2016-2020: China to build more high-speed railways to establish a comprehensive Transport System during the 13th Five-Year Plan period

The white paper, titled Development of China’s Transport, said China will increase the length of high-speed railways in service to 30,000 km by 2020

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China Trains
China to build more high speed trains in near future,pixabay

Beijing, December 29,2016 : China will build more high-speed railways as part of its efforts to establish a comprehensive transport system during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), according to a white paper issued on Thursday.

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The white paper, titled Development of China’s Transport, said China will increase the length of high-speed railways in service to 30,000 km by 2020, which will link more than 80 per cent of its big cities, the Global Times reported.

The country will renovate 30,000 km of expressways and provide tarmac and cement roads and shuttle bus services for administrative villages with the necessary conditions, while all villages will have access to mail service, it said.

China will build commuting circles of one to two hours between the central cities and between central and peripheral cities, and one-hour commuting circles between central cities and key peripheral towns.

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With priority focused on public transit, China will speed up the development of its urban rail and bus rapid transit, and other means of high-capacity public transport, according to the white paper.

By 2020, intercity railway networks will be completed in several urban agglomerations including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta areas.

The white paper said more efforts will be made in cities with 3 million or more residents to form urban rail transport networks, and about 3,000 km of new tracks will be added to the current urban rail transit system.

China will also move to build integrated transport hubs, promote the green and intelligent development of transport services and improve safety in the transport industry, it said.

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The country is aiming to build a comprehensive transport network that spreads from east to west and south to north, construct passage-ways that extend beyond its borders, and develop sea routes for the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road in the five-year period, added the white paper. (IANS)

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Chinese Police Catches Hold of $1.5 Billion Money in Online Lending Scandal

The internet has helped financial platforms attract money from financial novices with little knowledge of the risks involved.

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China
Chinese policemen watch as depositors from Ezubao gather outside the State Bureau for Letters and Calls Reception Division office in Beijing, Jan. 1, 2016. China's policy ministry says it investigated 380 online lenders following an avalanche of scandals. VOA

Chinese police have investigated 380 online lenders and frozen $1.5 billion in assets following an avalanche of scandals in the huge but lightly regulated industry, the government announced Monday.

Beijing allowed a private finance industry to flourish in order to supply credit to entrepreneurs and households that aren’t served by the state-run banking system. But that threatens to become a liability for the ruling Communist Party after bankruptcies and fraud cases prompted protests and complaints of official indifference to small investors.

The police ministry said it launched the investigation because person-to-person, or P2P, lending was increasingly risky and rife with complaints about fraud, mismanagement and waste.

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The police ministry said it launched the investigation because person-to-person, or P2P, lending was increasingly risky and rife with complaints about fraud, mismanagement and waste. Pixabay

The ministry gave no details of arrests but said more than 100 executives were being sought by investigators and some had fled abroad. It said authorities seized or froze 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) but gave no indication how much might be returned to depositors.

Police say some lenders and investment vehicles were brazenly fraudulent, while others collapsed after inexperienced founders failed to manage risk.

Monday’s statement said P2P lenders were investigated for complaints including wasting money, reporting phony investment plans and using illegal tactics to raise money.

Lending through online platforms grew by triple digits annually until 2017 when regulators tightened controls.

Depositors lent 1.9 trillion yuan ($280 billion) last year, but that was down by 50 percent from 2017, according to the Shenzhen Qiancheng Internet Finance Research Institute.

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The internet has helped financial platforms attract money from financial novices with little knowledge of the risks involved. Pixabay

The outstanding loan balance stood at 1.2 trillion yuan ($177 billion) at the end of 2018, down 25 percent from a year earlier, according to Diyi Wangdai, a web site that reports on the industry.

P2P lenders are part of a privately run Chinese finance industry the national bank regulator estimated in 2015 had grown to $1.5 trillion.

The internet has helped financial platforms attract money from financial novices with little knowledge of the risks involved.

Many lend to factories and retailers or invest in restaurants, car washes and other businesses. But inexperience and poor risk control means a downturn in business conditions can bankrupt them.

Also Read: Sales of Smart Feature Phones Expected To Be About $28 Billion Over Next Three Years

Finance as a whole has come under tougher scrutiny after a 2015 plunge in stock prices led to accusations of insider trading and other offenses.

In one of China’s biggest financial scams, authorities say depositors lost 50 billion yuan ($7.7 billion) in online lender Ezubo before it was seized by regulators in 2015.

The founder and his brother were sentenced to life in prison in 2017. (VOA)