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Sub-anchor: Plan to better connect Beijing with its neighbors

Reporter: Jin Yingqiao 丨 CCTV.com

12-01-2016 05:01 BJT

China's top economic planner the NDRC has approved plans to build nine new high-speed railway lines connecting Beijing, Tianjin, and cities in Hebei. The government has pledged to invest over 200 billion yuan into the project. For more we are joined in our studio by CCTV's Jin Yingqiao.

Q1, Yingqiao, tell us more about the plan.

A1, The government has been championing the idea of better integrating the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region for a long time now. And transportation is a key component of that. Under this new plan, nine railway sections will be built across Beijing, in multiple cities in Heibei, and in Tianjin by the year 2020.

A new railway line will connect Beijing's capital airport with a new airport in the south. And another line will give people living in Beijing direct access to some gorgeous ski resorts in Chongli where the 2022 winter Olympics will happen. Altogether, the new lines will be around 1100 kilometers long. This is similar to the distance from Beijing to Shanghai. And will reduce commuting times between Beijing and its surrounding cities to less than an hour.

Another advantage of a closer knit railway network, is that you will get to choose between different airports. People will be able to bypass Beijing's busy capital international airport, and fly out of Shi-jia-zhuang's Zhengding airport instead. Travellers could also opt to ride for an hour on the train and subway to reach an airport in Tianjin. There will be a lot more options on the table for people living in the region.

Q2, The project will cost a lot. Where will the funding come from?

A2, Right, railways in a lot of countries struggle to make a profit. The project this time involves property development around the railway stations including the development of office buildings, schools and residential areas. The government will generate revenue through land sales, and that revenue will be put into building the railways.

For example, one station in northwestern Beijing is a building complex with commercial buildings, parking lots and residential areas -- including some affordable housing. Some of the revenue from land sales will be invested into building the subway. This new complex will ensure that the station doesn't just sit idle. Authorities also plan to use property sales to help fund the construction of a large underground transportation hub in Beijing's Tongzhou district. 

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