A Regional Analysis for Transport Infrastructure Development in China
S Zhao, Dalian University of Technology, CN
This paper examines the rapid development of road transport infrastructure in China at a regional base.
The exponential development of the Chinese economy is increasingly pressurizing the country's logistics systems. Despite the lack of an integrated logistics market, the Chinese government has invested heavily in developing the national transportation infrastructure since the 1990s. During 1991-2004, the investment of transport infrastructure increased 20 fold, reaching approximately 4% of GDP in 2004; in less than 20 years the total length of expressways reached 34,288 kilometers in 2004. The rapid development of transport infrastructure has improved the overall national transportation system qualitatively and quantitatively but has also caused serious imbalance among inner areas and coastal areas.
This paper tries to examine the rapid development of road transport infrastructure in China at regional base, as China is such a diverse country that contains vast mountain areas, seasonal flooding regions and deserts of shifting sand. The paper classifies the country into Eastern, Middle and Western regions. The Eastern region is further divided into Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and Beijing-Tianjin region. It is found that the Eastern region has reached close to the level of road development in the major developed countries in 1990s, while the Western region has 30 years to catch up with the level of the Eastern region. The financing mechanism, tolling scheme and operation system is significantly different among the three Regions. The paper finally discusses a number of issues affecting the further development of transport infrastructure in China, such as the coordination among government departments of transportation, lack of initiatives of investment in the inner areas, lack of Intermodal transportation services, and insufficient human resources and specialized knowledge in transportation.
Association for European Transport