China's National Development and Reform Commission has announced hundreds of billions of dollars will be invested in modernizing the country's infrastructure. Inner-city connections will take priority.
China's NDRC confirmed Thursday the country would invest 4.7 trillion yuan ($722 billion, 632 billion euros) in transport infrastructure over the next three years.
The commission said more than 300 projectsranging from roads, railways, waterways, airports and metro systems
would receive funding - a move that analysts said was designed to shore up growth in the world's second-largest economy.
China has recently faced mounting pressure while trying to maintain economic expansion as its population ages rapidly.
The country's new five-year plan adopted in March set an ambitious annual growth rate of 6.5 percent until 2020, and investment in infrastructure looked set to create employment and fuel domestic demand.
Regional governments in China have recently shifted away from investing too much in unprofitable industries such as mining and the steel sector, with commodity prices tumbling globally.
Beijing has allowed authorities in the provinces to also tap the bond market for infrastructure improvement projects. Economists hailed the new huge investment drive, but some warned it would contribute further to China's mounting debt load.
hg/cjc (dpa, Reuters)