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2012/1/16 19:45:59    

Civil Aviation    

Between 1949 and 1978, China invested several billion yuan to construct and expand a group of airports, laying the foundation for civil aviation in the country. Since the initiation of the policies of reform and opening, a group of airports have been built and expanded to satisfy the needs of economic development. By the end of 1998, there were over 140 airports opened to civil airplanes. Of them, more than 80 could accommodate large airplanes such as Boeing 777s, 767s, 757s, 747s and 737s, and A340s. By 1999, the total length of civil air routes in China was 1.522 million km, 3.5 times that in 1978, and 1,122 air routes had been opened, 128 of which were international air routes. The domestic airlines radiate from Beijing to all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, all open cities, and border and remote areas. The international airlines reach more than 50 cities, including Tokyo, Bangkok, Jakarta, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, London, New York and Vancouver.



In 1949, there were only 21,800 km of railway lines in China, with only 11,000 km opened to traffic. Between 1979 and 1999, newly constructed lines opened to traffic reached 17,919 km, of which electrified lines totaled 11,783 km. In 1999, the length of railway lines opened to traffic reached 57,900, a 19.1 percent increase over 1978. There are north-south and west-east trunk lines in China. The north-south line, with Beijing as its hub, consists of the Beijing-Guangzhou Railway, Beijing-Shanghai Railway, Beijing-Kowloon Railway and Beijing-Harbin Railway. The west-east line, with Zhengzhou as its hub, consists of the Lianyungang-Lanzhou Railway and Lanzhou-Urumqi Railway. The latter has been extended westward to link up with the railways in Kazakhstan. Thus Asia and Europe are linked by railways from Lianyungang in China to Rotterdam in Holland. New railway lines have been built in mountainous areas in southwestern China, mainly the Chengdu-Chongqing Railway, Baoji-Chengdu Railway, Chengdu-Kunming Railway and Nanning-Kunming Railway. Besides, the Turpan-Kashi Railway has been newly built in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.


In 1949, the length of highways in China was just over 80,000 km, and more than one third of the counties nationwide were not accessible by road. However, by 1999, the total length of highways opened to traffic had reached 1.352 million km. Now, all counties, towns and townships are accessible by road. After 1978, China began to build a large number of major expressways. In 1999, there were 58,000 km of newly built highways, 2,825 km of which were expressways.



China enjoys adequate taxi service. In most cities, the taxi tends to be a small local-made car painted in either red or yellow. In large cities, there are luxurious sedans at a higher rate. Taxi fares vary from city to city but they are always clearly marked on the taxi window. Most taxi drivers do not understand much English, although those in tourist cities are encouraged to learn and speak some simple English. Non-Chinese speaking visitors are advised to have their destinations written down in Chinese and show the address to the cab driver.