BEIJING, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A news report by China.org.cn on the purpose of China's infrastructure:
At the end of 2015, British newspaper The Guardian selected "seven wonders of the modern world near completion" and Beijing Daxing International Airport, set to be the world's largest, was on the list. In May of this year, the new airport in Daxing completed its first test flights of passenger planes. The airport's construction, which is scheduled to be completed on June 30, is progressing smoothly, and flight service is expected to begin on Sept. 30.
The ground-breaking for Beijing Daxing International Airport took place on Dec. 26, 2014, meaning the construction process will have spanned less than five years in total. This speed has amazed the whole world. Yet a report from the New York Times sounded sadly envious, saying that the airport reflects China's reliance on big infrastructure projects as "a salve for deeper problems in politics and economics."
This raises a question of necessity. First of all, Beijing, as a fast-growing megalopolis, has relied on the three terminal buildings and three runways of Capital International Airport for years. Last year, the passenger throughput of Capital airport exceeded 100 million, which is almost at maximum capacity. Under the circumstances, building a new airport was imperative.
Moreover, whether speaking of an airport or other projects, what is the purpose of China's infrastructure? Does an infrastructure project only have to be matched with the economic level of its area? These questions need to be answered with practical examples.
Take northwest China's Gansu province, where landforms range from mountains and plateaus to valleys to the Gobi Desert. Massive investments there have gone into building bridges, railroads, and highways in order to get around the mixed terrain, bringing convenience to residents and reducing transportation costs. As another example, among the 100 highest bridges around the world, almost half of them are in southwest China's Guizhou province, as it is the only province in China without any plains. In this regard, bridges have become indispensable to building roads through its mountainous terrain.
Most of the projects above were implemented by Chinese state-owned enterprises. Indeed, if simply considered from the perspective of return on investment, these infrastructure projects may not meet the expected returns. However, these endeavors have delivered tangible benefits to locals.
Just as a road can well increase the economic growth of a village, an airport can contribute mightily to the development of a city, or even an entire country. Beijing Daxing International Airport is neither a "publicity stunt" nor an "infrastructure-based drive for economic growth." Instead, it meets a practical need for Beijing's further development, and contributes to fulfilling the people of China's aspirations for a better life.
Beijing Daxing Int'l Airport - China's infrastructure not a stunt
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