Besides highways, Guizhou is planning to complete construction of 17 airports, 600 km of inland waterways, and 4,000 km of high-speed rail lines in three years, turning the area into a strategic transport junction in southwest China.
BEIJING - "Guizhou is to build more than 10,000 km of highway by 2020," Mr. Sun Zhigang, the governor of Guizhou, told journalists at the March 6th Press Conference of the Guizhou Delegation participating the fifth annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing.
There was 8,600 km of highway in France in 2007.
Located in China's heartland, Guizhou ranked 21st among all 31 provinces in terms of GDP volume in 2016. Usually regarded as a remote and underdeveloped area, it achieved 10.5% GDP growth, dwarfing the 6.5% national average. Thanks to its rapid growth in recent years, Guizhou finished constructing 5,100 km of highway by 2015, roughly connecting every county in the area.
Besides highways, Guizhou is planning to complete construction of 17 airports, 600 km of inland waterways, and 4,000 km of high-speed rail lines in three years, turning the area into a strategic transport junction in southwest China. "By 2020, one will need only two hours to travel from Guiyang to Nanning or Chengdu by high-speed train," Mr. Wang Bingqing, the head of the Transportation Department of Guizhou's provincial government told Huanqiu.com. Both cities are more than 400 km from the capital city Guiyang.
Senior officals in Guizhou believe the ambitious plan for transportation infrastructure construction will help improve its pillar industries, one of which is tourism. "It underwent a surge growth last year," Mr. Chen Min'er, the CPC secretary of Guizhou summarized at the press conference. He attributed the 50% growth of tourism in 2016 to the well-developed, high-level road network.
The rapidly-extending highway exposes the tourism potential of Guizhou, including transforming the world's largest aperture spherical radio telescope into a famous resort. FAST, as the five-hundred-meter-diameter telescope is more commonly known, was put into trial operation last September. The organizers of the state-sponsored project expected to attract more R&D investment and cooperation from the Central government, said Mr. Liao Fei, head of the Science and Technology Department of Guizhou, when asked by Huanqiu.com. "We are aiming to establish a National Astronomy Reach Center in Guizhou," said Mr. Liao. Before that, FAST witnessed more than 10,000 enthusiastic tourists daily in the first week of October 2016.
In addition, the man-made architecture is designed and built extraordinarily special and charming to echo Guizhou's unique mountainous landscape. Beipanjiang Bridge, crossing over 564 meters above the Beipanjiang river, substantially saves one hour of driving between Guizhou and its neighboring province, Yunnan. The world highest bridge welcomed its first BASE jumping parachuter in February this year. More extreme sporters will come, according to local media.
The booming tourism industry demonstrates strong support for the government's poverty reduction policy. The latter is set with the official priority as Mr. Chen Min'er stressed that "poverty reduction is a hard battle that we cannot lose." 1.2 million of the population who live below the poverty line became better off last year, partly owing to the prosperous tourism market.
"By 2020 there will be more than 200,000 km of various roads in Guizhou," Mr. Wang Bingqing gave his sketch for the future transportation. "We will connect each village and township."
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