China to lay 1.3 mn km of roads for PLA: Pentagon

Washington: China has planned to construct about 1.3 million kms of roads and 26,000 kms expressways by 2020 to bolster its military’s ability to mobilise more expediently across greater spans of the country, the Pentagon has told the US Congress. The Chinese rail network has 100,000 kms of track, 10,000 kms of which is high-speed track supporting trains running at up to 250 kph, the Pentagon said in its 2019 ‘China Military Power’ report. Beijing is initiating infrastructure projects and targeted funding allocations, it said.”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,” it said. The PLA is the world’s largest standing army. “China expects to build about 1.3 million kms of roads and 26,000 kms of expressways by 2020,” the Pentagon told the Congress.

China is also improving existing domestic airfields to handle heavier payloads, constructing airfields on islands and outposts in the resource-rich South China Sea, and restructuring airfields to support military and civilian use. As of June 2016, about one-third of China’s airports supported military and civilian use, it said.

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