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Visit Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management Karla Peijs, October 13, 2003. China’s New Monuments of Superpower Status. Mammoth Ports, Bridges, Dams, Express Ways, Airports and Aqueducts in the 21 st Century .

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china s new monuments of superpower status

Visit Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management Karla Peijs, October 13, 2003

China’s New Monuments of Superpower Status

Mammoth Ports, Bridges, Dams, Express Ways, Airports and Aqueducts in the 21st Century

Willem van Kemenade Website: E-mail:

comprehensive infrastructure goals by 2010
Comprehensive Infrastructure Goals by 2010
  • By the year 2010, the rail and road networks will be extended to 100,000 km (from 70.000 in 2000) and 1.4 million km. (1.25 m) respectively while 1,000 deep water berths (600) in the major seaports will become available.
  • Additionally, about 300 well equipped airports, modeled on the Beijing International Airport (40), will also be available so that transport efficiency, safety of operations and quality of services would meet the demands expected by national economic and social development.
  • China plans to spend $ 22 bn on roads, subways and stadiums for the Summer Olympics in 2008 and more on the World Expo in Shanghai two years later.
shanghai port expansion
Shanghai Port Expansion
  • The deep-water port project under construction since Summer 2002 in the Eastern China Sea on Big and Little Yangshan Islands is one of the largest port projects under construction in the world today.
  • When the port is completed by 2020, it will have 52 berths and be able to handle more than 20 million TEUs every year. The world's busiest container port, Hong Kong, handled 19 m TEUs last year.
  • The investment required for the first, five berths stage, is about US$1.72 billion and for the entire 52 berths complex US$16-18 billion could be needed.
  • A bridge 31.8 km long will be built to connect the Yangshan Islands and the town of Luchaogang in Nanhui County. The bridge will be a fixed bridge, which will have a total of six lanes and two high rise sections (one for 1,000 dwt and the other for 5,000 dwt vessels) to accommodate Hangzhou Bay ships passing under the bridge.
  • A second cross-sea bridge for freight trains will be built later.
  • Other expansion plans in Waigaoqiao will proceed according to plan.
  • A new steelport on another offshore island Majishan became operational in December 2002 to the chagrin of Ningbo. .
china builds world s longest trans oceanic bridge
China Builds World's Longest Trans-Oceanic Bridge
  • After 10 years of preparations, construction on China's first trans-oceanic bridge started in June 2002 at Hangzhou Bay in east China. With an estimated price tag of 11.8 billion yuan ($ 1.42 billion) the 36-km-long bridge will be the longest of its kind in the world.
  • The bridge will shorten the trip between Shanghai and Ningbo by 120 kilometres, making it a 179-kilometre journey, Zhejiang Governor Lu Zushan said. "It will certainly enable each part of the delta to develop much closer relations with one another, and greatly enhance the area's overall economic growth.
  • That is why preparatory work started on the bridge as far back as 1994, said Wang. During the past nine years, more than 120 technical research projects have been carried out on the planning of the bridge, with the help of more than 700 experts from throughout the world.
the golden age of driving in china
The Golden Age of Driving in China
  • The world's last big “communist” country has opened the way for public companies to finance the modern highways that more and more of its motorists are paying to use, tripling the length to 158,000 kilometers from 45,000 kilometers a decade ago.
  • Highways increasingly ring major cities; and most are free of charge. Arteries connecting and spanning the provinces, which charge a toll, are being financed by private investment capital, rather than by state funds. The phenomenon is another clue that planners in Beijing - no matter what name they give to their country's political party - grasp the advantages of free-market economic initiatives.
  • The Jiangsu, Anhui Expressway and Zheijiang Expressway are the most attractive investor-owned highways in China.
  • Freeways Tongjiang – Sanya (4.000 km) and Shanghai – Kashgar (5.000 km) are in advanced stage of construction.
  • These new highways are reminiscent of the 1950s U.S. interstate program, which intensified America's love affair with the automobile and opened up new sections of the country to commerce.
sidelined railways fighting back
Sidelined Railways Fighting back
  • Most important project is the new line – also the highest in the world – from Qinghai to Lhasa. Beijing and Shanghai will be linked by a bullet line, not the German Maglev system.
  • At least 20 major cities will get underground railroads, different from local metro public transport.
  • The railways carry about one billion people annually, travelling more than 66,000 km of track. But in recent years, railway companies have lost business to increasingly competitive bus, truck, shipping and air transport companies. They are spending Yn. 55 b. on modernisation to lure back passengers.
  • The railways managed to hang on to only 13 per cent of the market share in 1997, a major plunge from the early 1980s, when more than 80 % of China's freight goods travelled by rail annually.
  • Huang Qifan, Executive vice-mayor of Chongqing recently announced that plans are in place to make Chongqing the "hub of eight rail networks radiating to all different parts of the country.
competitive airport expansion
Competitive Airport Expansion
  • Beijing Capital International Airport said on September 11, 2003, it had received government approval for a $2 billion, plan to expand facilities by 2008, in time for the Summer Olympic Games.
  • Guangzhou Baiyun Airport is undergoing a vast expansion scheme. The project has three phases. The first encompasses design of a 3,500,000 ft2 central passenger terminal complex, two runways and associated roadways and parking facilities. The second phase includes designs for an additional runway and expansion of the terminal, and the third phase will include another central ticketing terminal and 50 additional gates.
  • Guangzhou’s enormous airport expansion is aimed at competing with Hong Kong's five-year-old airport. Lin Shusen, the mayor of Guangzhou is brushing off criticism from Hong Kong that it is all unnecessary. "We are not asking Hong Kong not to develop", he said recently. “There are some projects that we need to develop, and we hope Hong Kong will not expect us not to."
chongqing takes great leap forward to match shanghai
Chongqing takes Great Leap Forward to Match Shanghai
  • Huang Qifan, the city's executive vice-mayor, says Chongqing will increase airport capacity fivefold by 2010; roll out the same length of railway lines in the next four years as it has built in the last 50; and spend Rmb15bn on new ports. By the end of the decade, he adds, Chongqing will have built 1,600 km of highway, four times the present length, and eight new bridges across the two rivers that it straddles.
  • "If Chongqing can keep its momentum up, in 10 years it will be like Shanghai today," he says. Getting there will require vast sums of money; add the bill for the projects outlined by Mr Huang to the investment the city is targeting, and Chongqing will need an extra Rmb130bn every year for a decade.
  • Chongqing does have one advantage over Shanghai - one renminbi goes about three times further inland than on the coast, because of cheaper labour and land costs.
  • Chongqing has the "fastest rate of development in China“: 10-11% in recent years.
the three gorges dam biggest infrastructure project since the great wall
The “Three Gorges Dam”: Biggest Infrastructure Project Since the Great Wall
  • After the closure of the gates and the filling of the reservoir in June, China is still dealing with issues of mind-numbing complexity in the effort to ensure that the benefits of the project are not outweighed by the costs and risks.
  • Three main problems have yet to be resolved: 1) The discharge of silt by the outlets at the base of the dam; 2) The area affected by the project has been greatly underestimated; and 3) Safety issues related to potential missile attacks on the dam.
  • The waterlevel in the reservoir is now 135 m and by 2005 will be 156 m. Some want to raise it to 175 m by 2010, which will bring in much more sediment and will likely require the resettlement of an additional 150,000-200,000 people.
  • The higher waterlevel will also increase the risk of earthquakes.
  • China's Three Gorges area desperately needs to revamp its tourist attractions as other industries go to the wall, officials say.
moving southern water north
“Moving Southern Water North”
  • Water-shortages and drought are the worst ecological disaster in the world since the Soviet Union dried up Lake Aral in Uzbekistan.
  • After years of debate, the first phase of a $ 59 bn 50 year project of transporting water from the south to the north started in December 2002. It will be a 1.300 km aqueduct, running uphill from the Yang Tse near Shanghai to the Yellow River in Shandong.
  • The second phase will run via canals and pipelines to the north from the Han river, a tributary of the Yangtze near Wuhan. This phase is more feasible because the gradient is mostly downhill.
  • A third, to be finished by 2050, will cut through the high mountains near Tibet to link the Yangtze with the headwaters of the Yellow River, which chronically dries up from overuse.
  • The advantage of the western line is that water is plentiful in these high altitude areas, and populations sparse. The main drawback is the water would have to be transported more than 1.600 km through a combination of canals, pipelines, aqueducts and other structures - running up huge costs.
the pearl river delta one region three systems
The Pearl River DeltaOne Region – Three Systems
  • “One Country – Two Systems” was meant as a device to set Hong Kong apart as an autonomous, non-Chinese entity. Owing to the rise of other Chinese coastal and Pearl River Delta cities, HK has lost much of its edge and its services are far too expensive.
  • Due to its relative decline, HK has to integrate with the PRD now but doesn’t really want to. It wants to continue to develop advanced infrastructure and press neighboring Chinese cities not to build competing ports, bridges, tunnels etc.
  • Neighboring cities want to use their price-advantage. The result is massive duplication: Five international airports were built in the late 1990's in a 100 km radius, and a similar boom is starting for ports and bridges.
  • The central government does not want to interfere, because that would violate HK’s “high degree of autonomy”.
  • Overall disparity in cost between HK and the PRD is ten to one at present.