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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 to build more high speed trains in near future,pixabay
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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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Shanghai Airport Gets Check-In With Facial Recognition Machines

Increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

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Shanghai,
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection facial recognition device is ready to scan another passenger at a United Airlines gate. VOA

It’s now possible to check in automatically at Shanghai Hongqiao airport using facial recognition technology, part of an ambitious rollout of facial recognition systems in China that has raised privacy concerns as Beijing pushes to become a global leader in the field.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport unveiled self-service kiosks for flight and baggage check-in, security clearance and boarding powered by facial recognition technology, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Similar efforts are under way at airports in Beijing and Nanyang city, in central China’s Henan province.

Shanghai,
Face recognition tool was first launched in 2012

Many airports in China already use facial recognition to help speed security checks, but Shanghai’s system, which debuted Monday, is being billed as the first to be fully automated.

“It is the first time in China to achieve self-service for the whole check-in process,” said Zhang Zheng, general manager of the ground services department for Spring Airlines, the first airline to adopt the system at Hongqiao airport. Currently, only Chinese identity card holders can use the technology.

Spring Airlines, Shanghai said Tuesday that passengers had embraced automated check-in, with 87 percent of 5,017 people who took Spring flights on Monday using the self-service kiosks, which can cut down check-in times to less than a minute and a half.

Shanghai,
Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, demonstrates the company’s facial recognition technology, in Boston, April 23, 2018. VOA

Across greater China, facial recognition is finding its way into daily life. Mainland police have used facial recognition systems to identify people of interest in crowds and nab jaywalkers, and are working to develop an integrated national system of surveillance camera data.

Chinese media are filled with reports of ever-expanding applications: A KFC outlet in Hangzhou, near Shanghai, where it’s possible to pay using facial recognition technology; a school that uses facial recognition cameras to monitor students’ reactions in class; and hundreds of ATMs in Macau equipped with facial recognition devices to curb money laundering.

Also Read: Facial Recognition Technology Catches A Person With Fake Passpost At The US Airport 

But increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

“Authorities are using biometric and artificial intelligence to record and track people for social control purposes,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch. “We are concerned about the increasing integration and use of facial recognition technologies throughout the country because it provides more and more data points for the authorities to track people.” (VOA)