China to improve energy conservation & transportation 03-08-2004 14:29

China has worked out a blueprint for the development of the country's railway network. The minister in charge of the State Development and Reform Commission, Ma Kai, made the announcement this morning.

He was speaking at a press conference focused on China's ongoing plans for economic and social development.

The minister elaborated on the country's efforts to achieve energy conservation, as well as to streamline its energy transportation network, especially in the transport of coal. Ma Kai also encouraged Chinese businesses to invest overseas.

During the press conference, the minister responded to a question on energy shortages and the problems in the transportation of raw materials. The minister said that easing the strain of energy transportation was an important part of this year's macro economic plan.

Ma Kai said the central government has approved a blueprint for the country's railway construction. He added that the country will be increasing its investment in the construction of a new coal transportation trunk line on the Datong-Qinhuangdao railway in northern China -- to help speed up the project.

Minister of State Development & Reform Commission Ma Kai said, "After the project is completed, the railway's annual transportation capacity will double that of this year, reaching 200 million tons. We will also support, for the fourth and fifth times, the country-wide increases of train speed later this year, or next year."

Speaking on the subject of multiplying the country's energy resources, the minister said China would also enhance the development of nuclear energy.

Ma also said, "China's energy structure is based on coal. But we would keep on developing other sources, including nuclear energy. Nuclear power accounts for 16 percent of the world's energy structure, but the percentage in China is only 2 percent. We will gradually increase that percentage. The industry will be market-oriented. And we will seek international cooperation."

The minister also briefed reporters on the ongoing project of transferring natural gas from the country's west to the east.

Responding to a question on whether China's economy is overheated, Ma Kai said that although some industries are developing significantly faster than others, demand and supply has been balanced. He said the country's overall situation cannot be simply described as overheated or otherwise. And those debates on the issue are good for the country's overall economic development.

The minister also stressed that China has been encouraging Chinese businesses to look outside for cooperative ventures. These would include the setting up of overseas factories, as well as sending workers abroad.


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