China is pushing to modernise its transportation system, including speeding up rail and air travel, and investing in railroads to ease traffic congestion, as part the countrys ambitious economic transition.
Under the package announced on Wednesday, China will invest $1 trillion to modernize the transport network, boost railways and improve air travel by 2020.
It will also invest $500 billion in the railway industry over the next decade, as well as boost investments in railways to reduce air pollution and improve public transport.
The first stage of the plan will involve investing in upgrading existing rail and highway infrastructure.
It also includes a new “rail-to-train” plan, in which rail companies would take over more of the transport of goods and people in China.
The government said it would also make more of a priority to develop rail lines, particularly in rural areas.
In an attempt to ease congestion in the capital, Beijing, the government plans to build a network of 500,000 new train and bus stations, and improve bus rapid transit (BRT) technology, with trains running on time, reducing travel times and speeding up journeys.
The package includes a total of $2.3 trillion to boost railroads and air transport, with a goal of making up for the shortfall in the railways sector.
The government will invest more than $1 billion per year on BRT projects in the first two years of the package, as it works to boost passenger demand and ease traffic.
It said the rail sector would also benefit from investing in other sectors.
The new package will be funded by a new 5.1 trillion yuan ($1.6 trillion) stimulus fund, aimed at supporting economic recovery and improving China’s trade balance.
It will be able to support China’s economic growth rate by about 1.5 percentage points per year through 2020, the finance ministry said in a statement.
The China Development Bank will also play a major role in funding BRT in 2020.
In addition to the $1-trillion-plus investment in railways, the new package also aims to boost investment in air traffic, which has been the major source of pollution in China’s cities.
The Chinese government has set a goal to reduce emissions of the pollutant PM10 by 20% by 2020, which is a major priority for the development of air quality standards.
The plan aims to double the number of air-to, land-to and water-to stations in 2020 and double the capacity of the Beijing Metro’s water-treatment plant by 2022, according to the finance minister.
China has set an ambitious target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 60% below 2005 levels by 2020 and is already the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, overtaking the United States.
The pollution crisis is a concern for many in China, where a quarter of the population lives in cities and where the country is struggling to combat its second-biggest threat of pandemics and other air-borne diseases: the coronavirus, which the government has struggled to contain.
China’s air quality has been a source of irritation for some Western leaders, who worry that the country will become increasingly reliant on imported goods, including cars, to get its economy moving.