Today, China is linked by an evolving network of highways (China National Highways) and expressways (Expressways of China). In the past few years, China has been rapidly developing its road network. Between 1990 and 2003, the total length of urban roads in China more than doubled; increasing from 95,000 to 208,000 kilometers of roads during that period. Similarly, during the same period of time, the total area allocated to roads more than tripled; from 892 million square meters in 1990, to 3,156.5 million square meters in 2003. The importance of highways and motor vehicles, which carry 13.5% of cargo and 49.1% of passengers, was growing rapidly in the mid-2000s. Automobile usage has increased significantly in urban areas as incomes rise. However, car ownership is still low in comparison to the other members of the BRIC group of countries, being exceeded by Russia and Brazil. By the end of 2010, the total length of all public roads in China reached 3,984,000 km, with about 97,000 km (60,273 mi) of expressways by the end of 2012. All major cities are expected to be linked with a 108,000 km (67,108 mi) inter-provincial expressway system by 2020.

Five Year Plan 2016-2020

In its 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) China has set and implemented ambitious measures to develop its transport sector in a more integrated and sustainable way. Besides the further expansion of its basic transport infrastructure, ambitious goals are set to promote an integrated, environmentally friendly, innovative and technology driven transport sector development. Based on its national development strategies, the government of China emphasized the importance of taking action on global climate change and a “green and low carbon” future in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat in June 2015. China announced the intention to achieve its carbon dioxide emissions peak around the year 2030 while making the best efforts to achieve this goal earlier, to lower its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2020, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to about 15 percent by 2020. Transport plays a significant role in achieving these ambitious goals – China aims at increasing the share of public transport in in large-and medium-sized cities to 30 percent for motorized trips by 2020 and by promoting cycling and walking.

1) Construction of 30,000 km of highspeed railway

2) Construction of at least 50 more civil airports

3) Construction of 1 million km of rural roads

4) Cumulative total production and sales of 5 million new energy vehicles

5) Improvement of urban roads for cyclists and pedestrians

6) Intercity rail networks