All townships and villages with the proper conditions across China
had access to bus services by the end of last month as part of efforts
to lift more rural areas out of poverty, according to the country's
transport authority on Monday.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), China has been
speeding up the construction of a transportation network in
poverty-stricken areas with enhanced connectivity and access to bus
services, as well as greater safety and convenience, said Vice-Minister
of Transport Dai Dongchang.
By the end of the last year, all towns and villages where conditions
allow had already been linked by cement roads, he said at a news
conference held by the State Council Information Office, adding that
China has so far paved or renovated over 4.2 million kilometers of roads
in rural areas.
With bus services and cement roads both becoming universal in the
country's townships and villages, the country has made major progress in
the construction of transportation infrastructure for poverty
alleviation, he added.
Poverty relief is high on China's agenda as this year marks the final
one for it to achieve the goals of lifting all impoverished rural
people out of poverty and building a moderately prosperous society in
However, transport difficulties remained a major impediment to rural development, especially in central and western regions.
Yang Xinzheng, an expert at the China Academy of Transportation
Sciences, said that poor transportation infrastructure impeded contact
with people and services from outside and trapped local residents in
extreme poverty for generations.
Strengthening the construction of rural transport infrastructure is
key to boosting various rural industries since better rural roads will
reduce travel time, facilitate trade and allow more movement of people
and goods, accelerating the pace of poverty eradication.
To address the problems, Dai also noted that the ministry has
invested more in transport improvements in poor regions in recent years
in an effort to realize the country's poverty reduction goals.
About 68 percent of vehicle purchase taxes, around 950 billion yuan
($139 billion), were earmarked for rural road construction during the
13th Five-Year Plan period, a substantial increase on the 550 billion
yuan spent during the previous five years, he said.
Dai said that the ministry would continue to push forward the
integrated development of urban and rural transportation and increase
the coverage of logistics services in poverty-stricken areas in a bid to
provide strong transportation support for rural revitalization in the