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Premier stresses rail construction in west

Updated: Aug 20,2013 4:25 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang (R) talks with officials of the China Railway Corporation at the construction site of the Zhangxian Railway Station in Zhangxian county, Dingxi city, Northwest China's Gansu province, Aug 18, 2013. The Zhangxian Railway Station is a stop of the Lanzhou-Chongqing railway line which links Lanzhou city in Gansu with southwest China's Chongqing municipality. Premier Li made an inspection tour to Dingxi and Lanzhou of Gansu from Aug 17 to 19.[Photo by Li Xueren/Xinhua]

LANZHOU -- Premier Li Keqiang stressed the importance of railway construction to promote development in China’s western regions during a three-day visit to Gansu province.

Railway construction in western China is important for transferring industry from the country’s eastern regions to western areas, which will boost employment, relieve poverty, and solve uneven regional development, Li said.

Efforts should be made to ensure the quality of railway projects and construction workers’ safety, Li said during a tour to Gansu in northwest China from Aug 17 to 19.

China has vowed to invest a total of 660 billion yuan ($106.45 billion) in railway construction this year and plans to bring the country’s operating railway network to more than 100,000 kilometers by the end of the year.

Li urged local governments and relevant departments to better implement the central government’s policies, which are designed to stabilize growth, readjust growth patterns, promote reforms and improve livelihoods.

Local governments should provide more support to small businesses, which Li said are the engine of China’s job growth.