Sustainable Development of Transport in China
The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China
I. A New Path for Transport in the New Era
II. China’s Growing Strength in Transport
III. A Key to Poverty Alleviation and Moderate Prosperity
IV. Modernization of Transport Governance
V. Building a Global Community of Transport for All
VI. Future Prospects for China’s Transport
Transport is an important service industry – a basic, leading and strategic sector of the economy underpinning sustainable development.
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and particularly since the beginning of reform and opening up in 1978, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China has followed a strategy of coordinating the development of its transport industry with its economy and society, and ensuring harmony between the transport system and the natural environment. Based on a self-reliant approach, China has made a great effort to create a transport industry that fully responds to public needs. Remarkable results have been achieved, and a once-backward transport industry with a weak base has been hugely improved, providing strong support for economic and social development and creating an outstanding transport system with Chinese characteristics.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress held in November 2012, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China has made historic progress in its transport system. The industry has entered a golden period characterized by infrastructure improvements, better services, and high-quality transformation and development. China leads the world in terms of the scale of its transport infrastructure. Its transport service and support capacity has steadily improved, its capacity for technological innovation has markedly strengthened, and the modernization of management has made huge steps forward in this sector. As a result, the public now enjoys higher-quality travel experiences, and China is on the way to becoming a world leader in transport.
The world today is undergoing levels of change unseen in a century, and the future of all countries is linked in ways that are unprecedented. In this context, the role of transport in enhancing connectivity and people-to-people bonds is growing in importance. As a major country that shoulders its responsibilities, China is committed to implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It takes an active part in global transport governance, and looks to strengthen international exchanges and cooperation, so as to contribute Chinese wisdom and strength to sustainable development throughout the world and help to build a global community of shared future.
The Chinese government is publishing this white paper to provide a full picture of China’s achievements in the field of transport, and to share with the international community China’s strategy and activities in building a sustainable transport system.
I. A New Path for Transport in the New Era
China’s transport industry has followed a new path to keep up with the new development dynamic, serving high-quality domestic development and high-standard opening up. China is taking advantage of a period of golden opportunities to improve infrastructure, upgrade services and make transformation in order to build a comprehensive transport system that is intelligent, safe, and green.
1. Building the Transport System That the People Need
China is committed to satisfying public needs and serving public interest in developing its transport industry. In the new era, China adheres to a people-centered approach to governing and developing the sector based on public collaboration and participation for the benefit of all. It is dedicated to building the transport system that the people need.
– Public participation. China must concentrate its efforts on solving the most pressing, immediate transport issues that concern the people the most, encourage them to become involved in the governance of transport, and boost their initiative and creativity.
– Benefit for all. China should guarantee equitable and efficient access to basic public services in urban and rural areas, and ensure that transport development is sustainable and beneficial to all.
– People-centered development. Public satisfaction is the ultimate criterion for evaluating government work. In the light of public expectations in the new era, China focuses on building a high-quality transport industry through supply-side structural reform, meeting the transport needs of diverse groups, and bringing the people a stronger sense of gain, happiness and security.
2. Leading Economic Development
A nation and its economy can only be strong when its transport system is well-developed. Transport plays a leading role in economic and social development. China ensures that it can play this role to the full by always planning for the future and maintaining an appropriate pace of growth.
– Priority in planning. Priority has been given to transport when implementing strategies for coordinated regional development, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and when facilitating major programs such as poverty eradication, rural revitalization, and new urbanization.
– Future-oriented planning. In formulating comprehensive transport plans, and in building a comprehensive and multidimensional transport network, China has adopted future-oriented plans for infrastructure construction to accommodate new industrialization, information technology, urbanization, and agricultural modernization. The goal is to bolster economic and social development now and in the future.
– The leading role of transport. Transport should play a key role in making the best use of land, facilitating cross-region industrial transfer, improving the spatial layout of urban areas, and promoting economic exchanges and trade. China gives full play to the leading role of new internet-based transport business forms in fostering driving forces for economic development and accelerating the rise of new forms of economic activity.
3. New Development Philosophy as Guide
Implementing the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development is the key to developing China’s transport industry in the new era. China works to steer the future of transport with the new development philosophy, updating concepts, adopting new approaches, resolving difficulties and boosting strengths.
– Building a modern comprehensive transport system that is safe, convenient, efficient, green and economical. China aims to build a high-quality rapid transit network, an efficient regular artery network, and an extensive basic service network. China is moving faster in building a comprehensive and multidimensional and interconnected transport network that traverses the whole country and connects it to the world.
– Advancing supply-side structural reform in transport. China reduces the structural, institutional, technical, administrative, and service costs of transport, helps logistics industry to reduce costs and increase efficiency, so that transport can play the principal role in boosting the development of the logistics industry.
– Improving the business environment. In promoting law-based governance of the country, China properly defines the fiscal powers of the central and local governments in the field of transport and their responsibilities for expenditure, further streamlines administration and delegates powers, strengthens regulation, and provides better services to the transport industry. Efforts have been made to build a new supervision mechanism based on credit, and provide a business environment that is based on market principles, governed by the rule of law, and aligned with international standards.
– Strengthening drivers of development. China encourages and regulates new forms of business in the transport industry, accelerates the transformation of growth drivers, and strives to establish a multilevel transport service system offering high quality and diverse options.
4. Reform and Opening Up as a Driving Force
Further reform and opening up provides a powerful driving force for steady progress in the transport industry. China perseveres with its reform to build the socialist market economy, and creates stronger synergy between a well-functioning market and an enabling government, so as to unleash the productivity of the transport industry.
– Making the transport industry more market-oriented. China ensures that the market plays the decisive role in resource allocation, and that the government plays its role better. The state has lifted restrictions on access to the transport market and is promoting changes for higher quality, efficiency and impetus. It is crucial to rely on the market to tackle insufficient development while better playing the role of the government in addressing unbalanced development, so as to improve the transport market and increase the vitality of the transport industry.
– Pursuing high-standard opening up. China pursues development with its doors open wide and encourages “bringing in” and “going global” in transport development. Focusing on facilitating cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, China makes great efforts to promote land, sea, air and cyber connectivity, and coordination of policies, rules and standards, so as to ensure higher-level connectivity with other countries and facilitate international transport.
5. Innovation as Support
Innovation is a prime mover in transport development. With technological innovation as a locomotive, China promotes innovation in management, institutions and culture, improves its innovation system and environment, and optimizes its human resources in support of the transport industry.
– Increasing the durability of the transport system through upgrading infrastructure construction and maintenance technologies. China strengthens the disaster-resistance, early warning and monitoring capacity of its transport infrastructure, and improves its engineering technologies for high-speed rail, expressways, mega bridges and tunnels, deep-water ports, large airports and other projects.
– Advancing the digital economy and the sharing economy through developing intelligent transport. China fosters a new transport system by promoting coordinated innovation in business models and forms, products, and services, and improving the efficiency of comprehensive transport networks.
– Raising the quality of the transport industry through digital, internet-based, intelligent and green technologies. China endeavors to seize the historic opportunities provided by a new round of global technological revolution and industrial transformation, and use new technologies and new business models and forms to promote sustainable development of its transport industry.