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China charges full speed ahead on bullet train expansion

Plans would double track network by 2035, but $43bn price tag would add debt

China State Railway Group's liabilities totaled roughly $789 billion at the end of 2019. (Photo by Shin Watanabe)

DALIAN, China -- China State Railway Group will double the length of the nation's high-speed-rail network to 70,000 km by 2035 under ambitious plans unveiled Thursday.

All cities of more than 500,000 people will be linked through the project, estimated to cost at least 4.55 trillion yuan ($42.6 billion). The company is investing more capital in what is already the world's top-class rail system, it said in a statement.

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