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Hebei Rolls Out Truckload of Transport Projects for Xiongan
Published on: 2017-06-23
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020Hebei province plans to invest 600 billion yuan on transportation infrastructure by 2020 for Xiongan New Area, the economic zone designed to take some of the development pressure off neighboring Beijing. Passengers wait on a platform at the Baiyangdian high-speed railway station in Hebei province in April. The station is the closest high-speed railway station to Xiongan New Area.


Hebei province is doubling down on investments in highways, rail and airports in the coming three years, with national planners lavishing attention on the seat of the new Xiongan economic zone to ensure a speedy connection to Beijing and beyond.


Hebei, which borders the capital on three sides, plans to spend 600 billion yuan on transportation infrastructure by 2020, nearly twice the amount allotted to building the transit system in the area five years ago.


The hefty budget strives to link neighboring cities within 90 minutes of one another and limit the 100-kilometer trip between Beijing and Xiongan to 30 minutes. The budget was disclosed in the province's transportation blueprint for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).


021Under the plan, the number of commercial airports in Xiongan will grow fivefold, with at least 25 new air transportation hubs added. The economic zone's highway network, which accounts for more than half of the total budget, will be expanded to 9,000 kilometers of pavement, up 40% from 2015.


High-speed railways in Hebei are expected to be extended to twice their length in 2015, with four lines running through Xiongan New Area, a special economic zone dubbed "a great millennial plan," which was unveiled in April. The 2,000-square-kilometer region aims to ease some of the side effects of breakneck growth in the capital, such as overpopulation, traffic congestion, pollution and prohibitively high property prices.


A high-speed rail project between Beijing and Xiongan was announced earlier this month. Officials estimate that it will shorten the journey between the capital and the new area to 41 minutes. Another high-speed rail line will connect Beijing's new airport to Bazhou, which borders Xiongan. The line is part of railway that runs from Beijing and Hong Kong, which is slated to be completed by 2019, the official Xinhua News Agency reported in May.


Often placed in situations where its own well-being is sacrificed to make way for the interests and goals of adjacent Beijing, Hebei frequently is the site where heavily polluting plants are relocated after being banished from the capital.


Hebei, the province with the eighth highest gross domestic product in the country last year, is often referred to as the "backland" that provides Beijing with produce, water and unskilled labor.


Xiongan's inception has lifted the province from its humble position as "servicer of Beijing and Tianjin." In response to the national initiative, which has been accompanied by generous policy support, government-owned businesses, schools and hospitals have announced plans to relocate to Xiongan.

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