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China looks to slow growth of struggling high-speed rail

Plan will derail local governments' efforts to boost economic figures

The total length of China's high-speed rail network jumped 91% between 2015 and 2020.    © Reuters

China is introducing guidelines to limit new high-speed rail construction along underused routes as it seeks to drop projects that give short-term boosts to local economies but add to the huge debts of regional governments.

If a route is operating at less than 80% of capacity, then a second line should not be built covering the same route, according to guidelines released by the country's top economic planner and the transport authority on Monday.

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