SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China has completed two new high-speed rail links connecting Kunming, the capital of south-western Yunnan province, with Shanghai and Guangzhou on the eastern coast, according to a transport ministry notice.
China is in the middle of an ambitious railway building programme and aims to criss-cross the country with four north-south and four east-west bullet train connections and expand its total network to 150,000 km by the end of the decade.
Its high-speed rail network will reach a length of 30,000 km by 2020, the state planning agency said in its"five-year plan" for the sector published earlier this year.
The new railway connecting Kunming with Shanghai was formally opened on Wednesday, and is China's longest east-west high-speed link. It stretches 2,252 kilometres and will take 11 hours and 15 minutes, less than half the previous travelling time, the notice said.
According to the official China Daily, 29 of China's 31 provinces and regions are now served by high-speed rail, with only the regions of Tibet and Ningxia in the north-west yet to be connected.