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China to expand highway network nearly 50% by 2035

Debt snowballs past $890bn as servicing costs top toll revenue

Tollbooths on a highway in Dalian, China. There are plans to extend the national highway network by about 50%. (Photo by Shin Watanabe)

DALIAN, China -- China plans to extend by 47% the total length of its national expressway system by 2035 to support regional economies, but the projects will only compound the massive debt incurred.

Expressways under the purview of the central government totaled 108,600 km at the end of 2019. Plans are to increase this to 160,000 km, according to the transport ministry.

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