The soaring dragon
October 20, 2010

Raising interest rates after three years, to mop up excess liquidity, control inflation and systematically lower growth, the People’s Bank of China on Tuesday announced that the one-year lending rate in renminbi would rise from 5.31 percent to 5.56 percent and the one-year deposit rate will increase to 2.5 percent from 2.25 per cent.

Even though the Chinese economy seems to be tempering down, gradually rolling back  its stimulus package and implementing social reforms,  following soaring economic rates over the last 15 years, the government is keen to promote development and social welfare.  In a push towards domestic growth, consumption and improvement in the quality of life of its citizens, China announced two plans to power its transportation sector.

Already a benchmark and key supplier to several international markets, the Chinese Ministry of Railways announced plans to develop a new high-speed train that could reach speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour, or as fast as some small airplanes. Beijing estimates that by 2012, a 110,000-kilometer network of rails will include 13,000 kilometers of high-speed rails. The 1,318-kilometer Beijing-to-Shanghai high-speed railway, which cost about 220.9 billion yuan (US$32.5 billion), is scheduled to open in 2012. The train will cut travel time between Beijing and Shanghai by half to less than five hours.

On the same day, China’s aircraft-making giant, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)  said it would showcase the Seagull 300 China’s first indigenous amphibious plane at the upcoming Airshow China 2010 in Zhuhai city, Guangdong province, next month. According to Meng Xiangkai, general manager of AVICGA, the company is expected to begin mass production of the general aircraft next year, post successfully conducting its first test flight later this month.

General Aviation refers to all private and commercial flight activities, such as private flying, flight training, air ambulance, police aircraft, aerial firefighting, air charter, bush flying, gliding and skydiving. China currently has only 900 general aviation planes, compared with 220,000 in the United States and 430,000 globally.


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