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china keeps building

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    China to invest $445bn in rail system
    Print From correpondents in Beijing | October 25, 2008

    CHINA will invest nearly $A445 billion in its overburdened rail system as a stimulus measure aimed at blunting the impact of the global financial crisis.

    The investment is part of plans to extend the country's railway network from the current roughly 125,502km to nearly 160,900km by 2010, Shanghai's Oriental Morning Post reported.

    The Beijing News quoted a rail official as saying that, while the network needed extending, the massive investment was also intended to help lift the nation's economy as it suffers amid the global woes.

    "New rail investment will become a shining light in efforts to push forward economic growth," railway ministry spokesman Wang Yongping said.

    China's economy recorded its slowest growth in five years at 9.0 per cent in the third quarter of 2008.

    The situation has looked increasingly dire in recent days with export-dependent factories closing and laying off thousands of workers, with warnings from industry heads of much worse to come.

    The China Daily newspaper said the rail investment plan had been approved by the State Council. About 1.2 trillion yuan ($A252 billion) had already been allocated, it said.

    The paper quoted a government policy adviser saying the plan was similar to China's successful strategy for warding off the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.

    "In 1997, we dealt with the Asian financial crisis by stimulating domestic economic growth through investment in the construction of highways," Zheng Xinli said.,00.html

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