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(1,238 words)

Author(s): Comtois, Claude
In few countries railways play as important a role for the economy as in China. From the very beginning, railway construction was an ideological issue in China. The demise of the Qing dynasty prompted Chinese officials to use railways as a means of modernization, defense, and territorial organization. For the colonial powers the railways have been a means for expanding their sphere of influence and for further commercial and territorial expansion into the hinterland (railway policy). In light of…

Road Traffic

(1,262 words)

Author(s): Comtois, Claude
In China, road traffic is essentially an urban phenomenon. One of the major problems of the road traffic system is the growing demand for urban passenger transport. This is a result of both population growth and the rising standard of living. But urban construction has an effect on passenger traffic as well. According to the People's Republic's plans for land use, apartments, shops, schools, and workplaces are all in walking or bicycling distance of each other. Because of this density and compac…


(1,544 words)

Author(s): Comtois, Claude
The development of the transport system in China is closely related to the topographic conditions. Railway, road, and water traffic are developed to differing degrees, depending on the region. In Ningxia nearly all transportation takes place via railways, while the mountainous character of Tibet only allows for transportation of goods on the roads; and for Zhejiang, as for vast parts of southern China, water traffic is indispensable. Before 1949, there was a clear contrast between the few perman…