Silk Route Or Army Trails? China Rapidly Expanding Its Rail-Road Network For Fast Troop Mobilisation: US Report

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Pentagon has informed US Congress that China is planning to construct 26,000 km of expressway and 1.3 million km of roads by 2020 to increase its military’s ability to mobilise tactically across significant parts of the country, reports The Tribune India.

In its 2019 'China Military Power' report, Pentagon said that the Chinese rail network has about 100,000 km of track, out of which 10,000 km is high-speed track that support trains running at a top speed of 250 km per hour.

"Future transportation network improvements will bolster the People's Liberation Army (PLA's) ability to mobilise by moving higher numbers of units more expediently across greater spans of the country," the Pentagon report to Congress said.

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"China expects to build about 1.3 million kilometres of roads and 26,000 kilometres of expressways by 2020," said the report.

Transportation, according to the Pentagon report, is at the heart of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which consists of establishing roads, railways and ports to connect to countries of Asia, Africa and Europe.

"Although the BRI is marketed as primarily an effort to increase trade and development, China's improved domestic transportation infrastructure and access to transportation infrastructure abroad also would benefit the PLA by enhancing PLA access to transportation hubs and road systems," added the report.

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