China will invest 100 billion yuan (US$12bn) from 2006 to 2010 to build more rural highways, said Zhang Chunxian, minister of communications, in Beijing Sunday. At a yearly national communications meeting, Zhang said all administrative villages in China will be connected by highways at the end of 2010.
According to statistics from the transportation department, 123 towns and 11,200 villages have built highways in 2004. About 250,000km of highways have been upgraded to expressways and 130,000km of bituminous and cement roads are newly built. However, roads in many rural areas are still very bad, and building highways for all China’s villages is difficult, as it requires money, technology and support from local governments. Zhang also said the ministry will try its best to build highways on top of existing roads and not over farmland.