The latest figures from the statistics bureau show that China had 130-thousand kilometers of operating railway by the end of last year. To put that in context, the country's rail network is now 5-times longer than it was back when the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949.
China is also home to the world's largest high-speed railway network, which had more than 30-thousand kilometers of track in service at the end of last year. In terms of roads, China now has a network that stretches for 4.9 million kilometers, a 59-fold increase from 1949. This includes 140-thousand kilometers of expressway, the world's largest network of its kind.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the central government repaired 1.3 million kilometers of road over a five-year period. But the most dramatic change has taken place in air travel, with the total length of scheduled flights reaching 8.4 million kilometers, 734 times higher than the distance traveled by air in 1950.
Hu Siji, a professor with Beijing Jiaotong University, is in his 80s. He has witnessed the changes to the country's transportation over the past 70 years, and said that investment in transportation infrastructure has helped to boost China's economic growth.
"First of all, transportation is all about infrastructure construction, which requires heavy investment. As a result, it can fuel the country's construction investment. Second, before the reform and opening up, the development of the road network had been advancing unevenly. Now, the country is promoting the rational layout of road networks in a bid to make the development of the national social economy more balanced."
The deputy transport minister, Liu Xiaoming, said China has become a transportation power.
"Since the reform and opening up, the pace of infrastructure construction has been accelerating, and it has successfully achieved a major leap from "bottleneck restriction" to "preliminary mitigation" to "basic adaptation", to now reach economic and social development. And now, the whole sector is well and truly on a special path with Chinese characteristics."
Liu Xiaoming believes that innovation is the key to a strong transportation sector.
"Innovation helps to upgrade the transportation sector, from being one that is big to being one that is strong. We will put it in a key position for overall development, and we will support and lead the construction of a powerful transportation country."
The boom in the construction of the country's transportation networks has helped them to keep up with growing demand.
Looking at the demand on the rail network, for example, back in 1978, at the start of China's reform and opening up, 1 billion tons of freight were carried by rail. That figure has now reached 4 billion tons a year.
And the number of trips taken by passengers has also boomed over the past four decades, from 815 million to 3.4 billion trips a year.
For CRI, this is Wen Jie.
1. in service (车辆、设备)在使用中,可以使用；
Also, a train strike had been paralyzing traffic for about a week, with only few trains in service here and there.
2. in terms of 在…方面；从…角度看；根据…来说；
In terms of regional competition the attraction and competitiveness of a city are inseparable from its cultural background.
3. as a result 结果；后果；
As a result, the bad thing has been turned into a good one.
4. keep up with 跟上（变化等）；
We must keep up with the times.