The Chinese government has always taken the construction of highways as one of the important components of speeding up the construction of infrastructure facilities. In the three years from 1998 to 2000, its investment in this respect was more than 200 billion yuan each year.In 2001, the total investment in infrastructure construction in transportation was over 260 billion yuan, and 32,000 km of highways were built, including 3,017 km of expressways. By the end of 2001, the length of highways open to traffic throughout the country reached 1,698,000 km, including 19,000 km of expressways. Meanwhile, the state has speeded up the construction of highways in poverty-stricken areas, and great improvements have been made in the highways reaching central and western China. The nation's highway density has reached 17.7 km/100 sq km.
The construction of China's coastal harbors has been focused on the transportation of coal, containers, iron ore and grain and roll-on-roll-off ships, as well as deep-water access to the sea. China has especially strengthened the construction of the container transport system. Work in this regard has been concentrated on the construction of a group of deep-water container wharves at Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen and Shenzhen, laying the basis for the shaping of China's container hubs. The construction of the coal transport system has been further strengthened. A number of coal transport wharves have been constructed. In addition, wharves for importing crude oil and iron ore have been reconstructed or expanded. By the end of 2000, the coastal harbors had more than 2,400 berths at or above the medium-size level, including over 640 deep-water berths, with a total handling capacity of 988 million tons. The specialized container berths have a handling capacity of 12 million standard containers.
By the end of 2001, operating railways in China had reached 70,100 km, including 22,600 km of multiple-tracked railways and 17,000 km of electrified railways. Along with the completion or operation of a group of railways of great significance to the development of national economy, such as the Beijing-Kowloon, Nanning-Kunming, Turpan-Kashi, Handan-Jinan and Baoji-Chengdu (multiple-tracked) railways, railways in southwestern China have been better linked with the other parts of the country, the trunk railways have been further perfected, and transportation ability has been improved.
At the end of 2001, China had 139 airports for regular flights. In that year, the turnover of airfreight reached 4.37 billion ton-km, the passenger turnover was 109.1 billion person-km, and the volume of freight, 1.71 million tons. China had a total of 1,143 scheduled flight routes, of which 1,009 were domestic air routes, reaching 130 cities, and 134 were international air routes, reaching 62 cities in 33 countries.
China is rich in tourist resources with its long history, many scenic spots and historic sites, famous mountains and great rivers, distinctive operas, music, dances and folklore, and world-renowned Chinese cuisine.
In recent years, China has met the demands of tourists at various levels by building, expanding and renovating a lot of hotels and restaurants. At present, there are nearly 4,000 star-level hotels around the country. All large and medium-sized cities and tourist sites have hotels with complete facilities and excellent services for domestic and international tourists.
In 2001, 89.01 million tourists entered China, or an increase of 6.7 percent over the previous year; the number of foreign tourists topped 11.23 million, or an increase of 10.5 percent over that of the previous year; and the foreign exchange earning from tourism reached US $17.8 billion, or an increase of 9.6 percent over that of the previous year. The income from domestic tourism has grown by a large margin, coming to 352.2 billion yuan, or an increase of 10.9 percent over that of the previous year. Tourism income totaled 499.5 billion yuan, or an increase of 10.5 percent over that of the previous year, which remained higher than the overall growth speed of the national economy. Tourism has become a rising industry with the greatest vitality in China's economic development, as well as one of the new economic growth points.
Development of Tourism
||Tourism income in foreign exchange (100million US dollars)
||Number of incoming tourists (10,000 persons)