中文

Speakers:

Li Xiaopeng, minister of transport

Feng Zhenglin, administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration

Ma Junsheng, director general of the State Post Bureau

Liu Zhenfang, administrator of the National Railway Administration

Chairperson:

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson for the State Council Information Office

Date:

Oct. 22, 2020

Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). China's transport sector has made remarkable progress during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020). I believe people have felt the tangible benefits from it. Today, we are delighted to be joined by Mr. Li Xiaopeng, minister of transport; Mr. Feng Zhenglin, administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration; Mr. Ma Junsheng, director general of the State Post Bureau; and Mr. Liu Zhenfang, administrator of the National Railway Administration. They will introduce the development of China's transport sector during the 13th Five-Year Plan period and answer your questions. First, let's give the floor to Mr. Li.

Li Xiaopeng:

Thank you, Mr. Hu. Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good afternoon. It is a pleasure for us to take part in this press conference and brief you on the implementation of the 13th Five-Year Plan with regards to the transport sector.

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that the 13th Five-Year Plan period is a golden period for developing transport infrastructure, improving service quality, and promoting transformation and development. During this time, we have been implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and with wide support from all parts of society and people's active participation, we have been implementing new development approaches and deepening supply-side structural reforms in a united, concerted and determined manner. We anticipate that the targets outlined in the 13th Five-Year Plan will be accomplished, which will provide strong support in winning the battle against poverty and creating a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

The 13th Five-Year Plan period has witnessed the accelerated development of China's transport sector. It is estimated that China's fixed-asset investment in the sector will reach 16 trillion yuan. By the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China's total railway operation length will reach 146,000 kilometers, connecting 99% of cities with a population of over 200,000. China's high-speed railway operation length has reached nearly 38,000 kilometers, ranking first in the world and covering 95% of cities with a population of 1 million and above. China's road network has reached nearly 5.1 million kilometers in length, including 155,000 kilometers of expressways. The length of China's expressways is also the highest in the world, covering 98.6% of cities and prefecture-level administrative centers with a population of over 200,000. The length of high-grade inland waterways has reached 16,100 kilometers, and there are 2,530 berths of 10,000-ton-class or above at costal ports. The length of urban rail transit has reached 7,000 kilometers, and China also has 241 civil airports, covering 92% of prefecture-level cities.

The 13th Five-Year Plan period has witnessed the transport sector's all-round victory in the battle against poverty. Estimates show that during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, over 950 billion yuan of revenue from vehicle purchase tax will have been allocated by the central government to support road construction projects in poor areas, accounting for 68% of the total. This revenue will mainly be used to support the construction of highways in impoverished areas, national and provincial trunk highways, and rural roads. The development of rural roads has quickened during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. By the end of this September, a total of 1.39 million kilometers of rural roads have been newly built or upgraded, with this figure estimated to exceed 1.4 million kilometers by the end of this year. As General Secretary Xi Jinping said, the move to improve rural roads has produced tangible benefits in recent years, bringing more people and wealth to rural areas, especially poor regions, and rallying community support for the CPC.

The 13th Five-Year Plan period has witnessed the transport sector's firm support in steadily implementing major national strategies. The Beijing Daxing International Airport, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Intercity Railway, the Yanqing-Chongli Expressway, the 12.5-meter deep-water channel of the Yangtze River (from Nanjing to its estuary), and many other major projects have been completed and opened. This has provided firm support to the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region; the construction of Xiong'an New Area, and the Yangtze River Economic Belt; the integration of the Yangtze River Delta, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area; and the ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin, the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, and the Hainan Free Trade Port. An interconnected framework consisting of six corridors and six channels serving multiple countries and ports has been basically built, contributing to the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The 13th Five-Year Plan period has witnessed the transport sector's efforts to improve quality, increase efficiency and reduce costs regarding transport services. High-speed rail has transported nearly 70% of passengers travelling via train, and the punctuality rate of civil aviation has increased from 67% at the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan period to 81.65% in 2019. Reforms of the toll road system have been advanced, and expressway toll booths at provincial borders have been removed, thus greatly improving the operation efficiency of roads. Greater efforts have been made to adjust the transport structure. The railway cargo volume in 2019 accounted for 9.5% of total freight transport, up from 7.8% in 2017. The waterway freight transport volume increased from 14.14% in 2017, to 16.17% in 2019. The annual growth of rail-water freight container transport volume exceeded 20%, and the annual growth of express delivery exceeded 30%. The total volume and growth rate of express deliveries in China have topped the world for five consecutive years. Logistics costs have been reduced by more than 450 billion yuan during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, and the capacity of safety management of all industries has been continuously enhanced.

The 13th Five-Year Plan period has witnessed the transport sector's robust development in new technologies and new forms of business and industry. China ranks among the highest of all countries in terms of technologies for cross-sea bridges and tunnels, deep-water channels, and high-speed railways. Phase IV of the Shanghai Yangshan automated container terminal has been completed. Fuxing bullet trains have officially begun operation. Large passenger jet C919 completed its maiden flight. The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) has been applied in related industries. Facial recognition systems have been rolled out for high-speed railways and civil aviation. The number of daily trips for shared bikes has exceeded 45.7 million. New business models have emerged such as ride-hailing, customized shuttle buses, and internet freight transport. Terminals for smart postal and express delivery services have been widely distributed. Drones, unmanned vehicles and unmanned warehouses are being applied in the express delivery sector.

Since this year in particular, in face of the sudden COVID-19 outbreak, over 40 million workers in the transport sector worked in accordance with the Party's commands, and have been able to secure victory against the epidemic. While strictly implementing epidemic prevention and control measures, the transport sector has resumed work and production in a region-specific manner, sparing no efforts to ensure the smooth operation of logistics and supply chains. Firm support has been provided to build connections, ensure supply, and accelerate the pace in establishing a new development pattern.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends, as China enters the 14th Five-Year Plan period next year, the transport sector will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, implement the new development philosophy, adhere to high-quality development, and establish a new development pattern. The aim is to build China's strength in transportation with wide popularity, strong support and world-leading capacity, and take steps to fully build a modern socialist China. That completes the introduction. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

Thanks Mr. Li, and now let's welcome Mr. Feng to give us an introduction.

Feng Zhenglin:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from media, just now Mr. Li gave us a systematic introduction of the overall achievements of transportation development during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Now, I would like to make a brief introduction on the development of China's civil aviation industry.

The five-year period of the 13th Five-Year Plan has proved to be very extraordinary and important for the development of civil aviation. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the scale of transportation has grown rapidly, the security situation has remained stable overall, and service quality has steadily improved. Guarantee capabilities have been markedly enhanced, and deepening reform has been further promoted. The sector's overall development conforms to the plan, and the comprehensive strength of the sector has stepped up to the front rank globally. China is making efforts to move from a major country to a global power in air traffic.

First, the transportation scale of China's civil aviation industry has grown rapidly. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, despite the increasing downward pressure of the domestic economy, the civil aviation sector maintained a relatively fast growth rate. From 2015 to 2019, the average annual growth rate of total turnover, passenger and freight transport volume reached 11%, 10.7% and 4.6% respectively. China's scale of air transport has remained the second largest in the world for 15 consecutive years, and the gap to the number one has been narrowing year by year. This year, when the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on global civil aviation, China lead the world in having hit bottom and then rebounded. In September, the total turnover, passenger and freight transport volume recovered to 76.3%, 87.5%, 96.4% respectively of the same period last year. Total turnover of domestic air transport and passenger volume recovered to 96.9% and 98% respectively compared to the same period last year.

Second, accessibility to the airline network has greatly improved. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has taken hub construction as a driving force, actively serving national strategies, supporting local economic and social development, guiding airline companies to optimize their network layouts, and constantly improving the airline network. Up to 2019, there were 234 domestic cities served by regular services and 4,568 domestic air routes (including 111 involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan); there were 167 cities in 65 foreign countries served by regular flights, and 953 international air routes. China has signed bilateral air transport agreements with 127 countries and regions. It has also signed bilateral inter-governmental air transport agreements with 96 countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and maintained passenger and cargo flights at a regular basis with 54 of them.

Third, the safety level of the industry continues to lead the world. China's civil aviation industry adheres to the bottom line of safety, and has zero tolerance for potential safety risks. It has focused on the grassroots, laid the foundation and practiced the basic skills for safe operations. Through further improving our work style by concentrating on the principles of "reverence for life, rules and responsibilities", the safety governance capability of the whole industry has been greatly enhanced. By the end of September this year, the country had achieved 121 consecutive months of safe flight, total 86.69 million hours of flight time. It has also ensured air defense safety for 18 consecutive years. As for the five-year rolling value of major accident rate per million flight hours of transport aviation, China's civil aviation is 0, while the world average is 0.088. That has enabled the safety level of our civil aviation sector to remain at the forefront of the world.

Fourth, the guarantee capacity of infrastructure has been enhanced significantly. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, in accordance with the principle of appropriate advance, China has been making efforts to improve functions of international and regional hub airports, promote capacity of large airports, enhance the support capacity of medium and small airports, and build a group of regional and general airports. China is now constructing a modern airport system featuring wide coverage, reasonable layout, advanced functions and intensive environmental protection. The system consists of three world-class airport clusters in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, Yangtze River Delta region, and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area; 10 international aviation hubs in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Xi'an, 29 regional hub airports, together with a number of non-hub airports, which will meet the anticipated demand created by rapid growth of air transport. Beijing Daxing International Airport, which officially opened in 2019, has become a new power source for national development and new engine for the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, as well as the construction of the Xiong'an New Area. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the expansion projects of 15 large and medium hub airports including Pudong International Airport in Shanghai have been completed. The construction of Chengdu Tianfu International Airport and Jiaodong International Airport in Qingdao, rebuilding and expansion of Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport have been promoted steadily. China's first cargo-oriented airport in Ezhou of Hubei province is under construction. The country's airport network has been improved constantly, and its guarantee capability has been enhanced markedly. At present, there are 39 airports in the country with annual passenger throughput of 10 million, and 11 of them with passenger throughput of 30 million. By the end of 2020, the number of transport airports in the country is expected to reach 241, with 41 new runways, 5.88 million square meters of new terminals and 2,264 new aircraft parking spots being added. This will provide additional capacity of 400 million passengers and a total national capacity of 1.4 billion passengers. In addition, 43 new and expanded airports will be completed, bringing the number of general airports up to 313, surpassing the number of transport airports.

Fifth, the service quality of the industry has improved steadily. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, CAAC has made great efforts to improve on-time rate of flights. The rate increased from 67% in 2015 to 81.6% in 2019, exceeding 80% for two consecutive years, and reached 87.04% in the first three quarters of this year. CAAC has carried out special initiatives to improve service quality for five straight years. We have promoted "e-ticket" flights, launched a whole-process luggage tracking system, opened the Hotline 12326 for dealing with inquiries and complaints, standardized the price of catering in airports, implemented tiered charge standards for ticket refunds, promoted services for disable passengers, increased servicemen's priority access to flights, and set up an express channel for donated body organs. Through this, we strive to provide a better travel experience and services for all passengers.

Sixth, deepening reform of the industry has been further promoted. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, CAAC maintained a problem-oriented principle, and promoted development through reforms and deepened the industry reform. We identified 40 specific reform tasks covering 10 aspects, implemented 158 reform measures, and formed an overall framework for deepening reform featuring a "1+10+N" pattern. Breakthroughs were made in important areas and key links, such as reforms of freight rates, regulatory models, reconstruction of the aviation regulation system, and reform of shareholding system of aviation enterprises. Since the beginning of the 13th Five-Year Plan, we have carried out a total of 1,544 reform tasks, and the completion rates in 2017, 2018 and 2019 reached 93.6%, 94.5% and 91.3% respectively. At present, the reform of China's civil aviation industry is still proceeding, the administrative management system is further improving, functions of public service are further strengthening, and its administrative efficiency, regulatory levels and law-based management are also advancing at a faster pace.

Certainly, while noting the achievements made in the past five years, we also acknowledge there are still some weak links in the development of China's civil aviation, which still fall short of the requirements of the central government and the expectation of our people. At present, CAAC is formulating the 14th five-year plan for civil aviation development and the guidelines for the reform of the industry. The sector will resolutely adhere to the bottom line of security, and further promote intelligent civil aviation as the main focus of future development. We will comprehensively enhance the ability of our resource guarantee, create a longer safety period, vigorously improve service quality, and better meet people's diverse air travel demands and development needs of modern aviation logistics, so as to contribute to nurturing a new development pattern that takes the domestic market as the mainstay while letting domestic and foreign markets boost each other. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

Thank you, Mr. Feng. Now please welcome Mr. Ma Junsheng, head of the State Post Bureau.

Ma Junsheng:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the press, good afternoon. Just now Minister Li gave a general introduction to the transport achievements during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Now I'd like to add a few points about the development of the postal sector in the past five years, by using a set of data.

Over the past five years, the revenue of the entire postal industry has grown from $403.9 billion in 2015 to $1.1 trillion, a five-year net increase of $700 billion, with an annual growth rate of 22 percent.

Secondly, over the past five years, the industry has created more than one million new jobs, with an annual growth of 200,000.

Third, the annual business volume of express deliveries increased from 20.7 billion in 2015 to over 80 billion this year, quadrupling in five years. Our country's parcel delivery volume exceeds that of the United States, Japan, Europe and other developed economies combined, and our contribution to the world CEP market exceeds 50 percent.

Fourth, the annual number of postal uses grew from 70 billion in 2015 to 150 billion this year.

Fifth, the postal service network has achieved full coverage above the administrative village level, with express delivery outlets reaching 98 percent of the towns and townships. The self-operated international express delivery network now serves more than 60 countries and regions. The industry-wide number of cargo planes for domestic express delivery increased from 71 to 130. More than 400,000 smart boxes for express delivery have come into service.

Sixth, the overall comprehensive strength of enterprises in the sector has increased significantly. China Post Group Corporation ranks 90th among the world's Fortune 500 companies. Seven express delivery companies have been listed through restructuring, among which three branded ones exceeded 100 billion yuan in their business revenue this year. That's all. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

Thank you, Mr. Ma. Now please welcome Mr. Liu Zhenfang, head of the National Railway Administration.

Liu Zhenfang:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the press, good afternoon. Just now Minister Li introduced the overall development of transport during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Now I'd like to add several points about the railway sector.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, following the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the railway sector has taken a people-centered approach, adhered to the new development philosophy, advanced railway supply-side structural reform, and strived to promote the high-quality development of the sector. We have achieved the relevant goals set in the 13th Five-Year Plan, and played a leading role in building China into a strong country of transportation, serving the national strategy and promoting socio-economic development.

First, railway network construction has been accelerated. The main framework of the "four vertical and four horizontal" high-speed railways has been completed. The construction of the main channels of the "eight vertical and eight horizontal" high-speed railways, as well as normal-speed railways, have been sped up. Rapid advances have been made in building intercity railways in key regions. A large number of new lines, such as the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Smart High-speed Railway and the Haolebaoji-Ji'an Railway, a heavy-load line for transporting coal from the north to the south, were put into operation. The layout of the national rail network was continuously optimized and the network quality was remarkably increased. The rail network in the central and western regions was constantly improved, with hubs and supporting facilities greatly enhanced. By the end of 2019, the length of in-service railways nationwide had reached 139,000 kilometers, including 35,000 kilometers of high-speed rail lines. A well-balanced, wide-ranging, well-organized, safe and efficient rail network will basically take shape by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period.

Second, the quality of transportation has improved significantly. The railway industry has focused on meeting the people's growing demand for railway transport, vigorously implementing structural reform of the railway supply side, and continuously improving transport supply capacity, service quality and safety. From 2015 to 2019, the number of passengers and the volume of cargo transported by rail grew at an average annual rate of 9.6% and 6.9% respectively. The greatly improved transport capacity made it more convenient for passengers to travel and strongly ensured the transport of key materials such as energy and resources. With passenger tickets and cargo bills going digital, railway transport services were improved significantly. The ability to provide emergency support has been significantly enhanced, and transport safety has remained stable, and now our high-speed railways lead the world in terms of safety.

Third, the level of equipment has been comprehensively upgraded. A high-speed rail construction and equipment manufacturing technology system with independent intellectual property rights has been formed. The Fuxing, China's standard high-speed trainset, has achieved a commercial speed of 350 kilometers per hour, and a series of models has basically taken shape. For the first time in the world, intelligent trainsets have achieved automatic driving at a speed of 350 km/h. The levels of high-power locomotives, heavy-haul vehicles, communication signals, traction power supply, equipment for maintenance, repairing and testing as well as construction machinery and apparatus were greatly elevated. Constant innovations were made to the application of new intelligent technologies.

Fourth, railway reform is gradually deepening. The industry regulatory system is gradually improving, and the transformation of government functions and the streamlining of administration and decentralization of power have achieved obvious result. The reform of the railway investment and financing system has been deepening, and the proportion of investment in railways by local governments and social capital has increased significantly. State-owned railway enterprises have established modern enterprise systems. Companies like Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway Co., Ltd. have been listed. The law-based and market-oriented reform of railway transportation has been further advanced, further improving the business environment.

Fifth, international cooperation has been fruitful. In serving the construction of the Belt and Road, China has achieved positive results in the internationalization of railway standards and made new breakthroughs in railway connectivity. The landmark projects of the China-Lao Railway and the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway have made steady progress. Projects including the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway and the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway were completed and came into service. Railway technology and equipment have been exported to more than 100 countries and regions. The rapid development of China-Europe class trains, with a total of more than 30,000 trains by the end of September 2020, has become an important achievement and highlight of the "Belt and Road" construction. Especially this year, faced with unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, the China-Europe freight train has played an important role in promoting the resumption of work and production as well as stabilizing the international supply and industrial chain. That's all. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

Thank you, Mr. Liu. Now the floor is open to questions.

CCTV:

Mr. Li, this year is the final year of the 13th Five-Year Plan. We have noticed that many hard targets have been set in the transportation sector. How have those targets been met in the past five years? From the checking lists, can you report the various outcomes? Thank you.

Li Xiaopeng:

Thank you for asking. Regarding the checking lists, we have two. One list is the 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development, which refers to the transport section in the national plan and is composed of three hard targets. The second list is the 13th Five-Year Plan for the development of the modern comprehensive transportation system. This list has 24 indicators, of which four are mandatory and 20 are anticipated. On the whole, we have been able to accomplish the goals and tasks of the 13th Five-Year Plan. Overall, the mandatory targets of the national plan have been exceeded, the obliged transportation section targets have been fulfilled, and the anticipated goals have also been mostly fulfilled. Next, I will check the lists in detail. I'll discuss it in three parts:

In the first part, all hard targets set in the country's 13th Five-Year Plan will be exceeded. Among these three targets, the first is the mileage of newly built or upgraded expressways. The target set was 30,000 kilometers, but we have surpassed the target, building 31,000 kilometers. The second target was to increase the operating mileage of urban rail transit by about 3,000 kilometers. Over 3,000 kilometers have since been completed, also exceeding the target. The third target was to build or renovate 1 million kilometers of rural roads. By the end of September, however, 1.388 million kilometers of roads had been completed, and we're expected to exceed 1.4 million kilometers by the end of this year.

In the second part, four mandatory targets in the comprehensive transport development plan have been successfully completed. The first was to ensure administrative villages have access to tarmac and cement roads. That target was to provide 99% of administrative villages with such roads, and the figure now stands at 99.61%. Among these, 100% of administrative villages with the necessary conditions now have tarmac and cement roads. The second target was to ensure shuttle bus access to administrative villages. While the target was to provide 99% of villages with a bus service, now 99.38% of all villages have bus access. Among them, 100% of villages with the necessary conditions have bus access. The third indicator was that bus stations would be available every 500 meters in cities with a population of over one million. That target is at 100% and has been met. The fourth indicator was the reduction rate of the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents at a serious level or above. That target was 20% but we've managed to reduce the number of deaths by over 20%. Therefore, all these four mandatory targets have been fulfilled.

Third, all anticipated indicators have been mostly completed. They involve highway and waterways. The highway mileage target was 5 million kilometers, while 5.1 million kilometers have been completed. The mileage for expressways was set at 150,000 kilometers, with 155,000 kilometers being completed. The high-grade inland waterway mileage was set at 17,100 kilometers but 16,100 kilometers have been completed, for a completion rate of over 94%. Meanwhile, the target for building 2,527 coastal port berths of a 10,000-ton level or above has been exceeded, with 2,530 being completed. The operating mileage for urban rail transit was set at 6,000 kilometers, which reached 7,000 kilometers. The standardization rate for road freight models of 80% was also exceeded. The annual growth rate for container railway-waterway intermodal transportation was set at 10%, with an actual completion rate of 20% or above. Finally, the target for the digitization rate of basic traffic elements was 100%, which was met; the target for electronic toll collection (ETC) utilization rate for road buses was 50%, but actual completion was 70%, and the target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from transportation by 7% was exceeded for total reductions of 7.5%.

That's the indicators presented. Now I would like to invite Mr. Feng, Mr. Ma, and Mr. Liu to introduce the achievement of targets in civil aviation, postal service, and railways, respectively.

Feng Zhenglin:

Thank you, Mr. Li. The 13th Five-Year Plan of civil aviation covers 14 indicators involving industry scale, development quality, guarantee capability, and green development. From the perspective of lists checking, these are likely to be completed. I will focus on three indicators that directly relate to people's lives.

First, the aviation safety indicators. Safety is the lifeline of civil aviation and we always place people's safety as a top priority in civil aviation work. We always adhere to a "zero tolerance" policy for any hidden dangers, focusing on safety work by improving "junior staff, groundwork, and basic skills," as well as intensifying efforts to improve our conduct. We vigorously promote a civil aviation regulatory model, shifting from a staff-things orientation to an organization-system approach, keeping an eye on system changes, and firmly sticking to civil aviation security. In the past five years, even as the industry's scale has been growing rapidly, the overall aviation safety situation has remained stable. The five-year rolling average of major accident rates per million flight hours is zero, which is higher than the safety target outlined in the 13th Five-Year Plan and also better than the world's average.

Second, the flight on-time rate indicators. Over the past five years, we have adhered to the principle of controlling total flight volume, strengthening our systems, and constantly strengthening control measures all the while. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the on-time flight rate increased by 14.65% compared to the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan period. Additionally, the national average on-time flight rate reached 80.13% in 2018 and 81.65% in 2019. In the first three quarters of 2020, due to the impact of the epidemic, the number of flights was relatively small, and the on-time flight rate reached 87%, fulfilling the 80% development target set in the plan two years ahead of schedule.

Third, the target for air passenger turnover ratio. The 13th Five-Year Plan is a crucial stage for comprehensively strengthening the building of a powerful civil aviation country. We adhere to a guideline of making progress while maintaining stability for our work. We also adhere to supply-side structural reform and promote the high-quality development of civil aviation. The comparative advantage of civil aviation in the comprehensive transportation system has been further enhanced. In 2019, the civil aviation passenger turnover within the nation's comprehensive transportation system increased from 24.2% at the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan period to 33.1% today. This target has therefore been met two years in advance.

However, as for the overall planning goal, we should continue to work on one thing: improving the development of general aviation. According to the original development goal, 500 general airports and 5,000 general aircraft should have been built as well as 2 million flight hours clocked. At present, registered general airports number 313. If we add the number of airports currently undergoing verification and certification, the target could be met. However, only 2,777 aircraft have been built so far, which does not include UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). If UAVs were to be included, it would exceed the target. Again, fewer than 2 million flight hours have been achieved but if those of UAVs were counted under general aviation, this figure would have been exceeded. At present, the figure stands at around 700,000 hours.

That's all. Thank you.

Ma Junsheng:

Just now, I introduced some indicators of the developments of our industry during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. We have achieved the goals and tasks we set. One of the tasks assigned by the central government to our postal industry is to cover all administrative villages with direct postal services during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Before this period, about 36,000 administrative villages, 6.6 percent of all villages, did not have direct access to postal services, most of which are located in the western region, areas with ethnic minority populations, old revolutionary base areas, and border areas. Most of these villages are poor with inconvenient transportation and scattered postal service outlets. To achieve the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, we have earnestly implemented the original mission of "People's Post serves the People" and for five consecutive years given the priority to the task ofcovering all administrative villages with direct postal services, as part of our agenda to serve the people. We increased investment, optimized the network, and overcame all difficulties. In August of 2019, we finally achieved the goal one year ahead of schedule. So far, villagers in 556,000 administrative villages across the country can receive postal services without leaving their village.

At the same time, we continue to optimize the policy environment to promote the platform and intelligent development of express delivery terminals. The layout of public service stations and smart parcel delivery lockers is also more complete. Nearly 110,000 public express delivery service stations have been built across the country, and 93 percent of the outlets are standardized. These service facilities have played a significant role in this year's epidemic prevention and control. With these facilities, effective package delivery services can be provided. Postmen and couriers can collect packages that senders have dropped off at designated outlets, which effectively reduces their face-to-face contact with consumers and minimizes the risk of spreading the epidemic via the delivery process. That's all I want to add. Thank you.

Liu Zhenfang:

Regarding railways, we have resolutely implemented the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and fully implemented the 13th Five-Year Plan for Railway Development to promote high-quality development of railways. The Plan puts forward 10 main indicators in three aspects, which will be achieved by the end of 2020.

First, in terms of road network construction, the total commercial mileage of the nation's railwayshas reached 146,000 km, an increase of 25,000 kilometers from the end of 2015; among them, high-speed railways made up 38,000 kilometers, an increase of 19,000 kilometers from the end of 2015. The commercial mileage of railways in the central and western regions cover a distance of 90,000 kilometers. The proportion of double-line railways reached 60 percent, and the proportion of electric railways reached 73 percent. The railway network coverage in cities with populations over 200,000 has reached 99%. The coverage of high-speed rail networks in large cities with populations over one million has reached 95 percent.

Secondly, in terms of passenger and freight transport, in 2019, 3.66 billion people traveled by rail, an increase of 44.4percent from the last year of the 12th Five-Year Plan; the volume of passenger transportation reached 1.47 trillion person-kilometers, an increase of 22.5percent; China railways carried 4.389 billion tons of freight, an increase of 30.7 percent while generating 3.02 trillion cargo ton-kilometers, an increase of 26.9 percent.

Transportation capacity has been significantly improved. Electrical Multiple Units (EMUs) have become the main force in passenger transport. The passenger trips delivered by China Railways High-speed (CRH) trains account for approximately 70 percent of all railway passenger trips. The ratio of online ticket sales exceeds 80 percent.

Third, in terms of green development, we have helped win the "fight to keep our skies blue" and further promoted the adjustment of the transportation structure. The railway freight market share has increased from 7.8 percent in 2017 to 9.5 percent in 2019, and the comparative advantages of railways have been given full play. The energy consumption of railway transport has been further reduced. In 2019, the total energy consumption per unit of railway transport was 3.94 tons of standard coal per million conversion ton-kilometers, down by 16.3 percent from 2015. Great efforts have been made in the comprehensive management of the environment along the railway. The green corridors and the most beautiful CRH trains are becoming well known. The green development of the railway has made significant progress. Thank you.

Li Xiaopeng:

Thank you for the additional information. In general, the briefings showed that we can complete the goals and tasks set in the 13th Five-Year Plan. Here, I would like to thank the whole country and news outlets for their attention and support in the transportation sector. Although we can meet the goals of the 13th Five-Year Plan, there is still work to do if we want to meet the requirements of the CPC Central Committee, people's new expectations for a better life, and the requirements of economic and social development. In the upcoming 14th Five-Year Plan, we will continue to build China's transportation industry to provide good service to our people, ensure reliable operations and maintain our international competitiveness. Thank you.

hb.dzwww.com:

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, new kinds of transport, such as online car-hailing and bike-sharing, have boomed. Can you tell us what other measures the Ministry of Transport will roll out to promote new kinds and models of transport? Thank you.

Li Xiaopeng:

Thank you for your question. Are you also from new media? It is a new form of industry. The transportation industry is an old-established form of business, but the combination of tradition with new technologies and industries, such as information technology and modern financial services, has spawned many developments in the transportation industry, which have played an important role in serving the people and improving the quality of life. The Ministry of Transport has always attached great importance to these new kinds of business. Taking an inclusive yet cautious approach, we support and encourage the development of new kinds of transportation based on the principles of putting people at the center, fostering innovation, seeking benefit and avoiding harm, and regulating the development.

We have established an inter-ministerial joint meeting system for the coordinated supervision of new kinds of transportation and issued many policy documents for the standardized management of new kinds of businesses to promote their healthy and standardized development. So far, more than 190 online car-hailing platforms have obtained operating licenses, and more than 2.5 million online car-hailing driver licenses and about 1.04 million vehicle transportation certificates have been issued across the country. The online car-hailing services receive about 21 million orders daily. A total of 19.45 million shared bicycles have been put into operation in more than 360 cities across the country.

As I mentioned just now, the average daily shared bicycle rentals exceed 45.7 million, and the industry's regulation has gradually improved. Regarding vehicle sharing, more than 200,000 vehicles have been put onto the streets of over 180 Chinese cities. Internet-based freight service, another new kind of business, has integrated more than 1.72 million freight vehicles, accounting for 15.9 percent of the total number of trucks in operation. The concentration of the freight market has also increased.

Next, we will continue to encourage and support the development of new kinds of transportation. The first objective is to promote innovation. The second is to promote the integrated development of new and traditional business. The third is to optimize the business environment. The fourth is to ensure safety. Working together with other departments, we will enable these new kinds of transportation to deliver higher quality and better serve the people. Thank you.

Bloomberg News:

Europe's aviation regulator said he's satisfied that changes that Boeing has made to the 737 Max have made the plane safe to fly there this year. Does China agree with this position? And what is the timeline and procedure for the 737 Max to be allowed to fly in China? It's a question for Director Feng.

Feng Zhenglin:

Thank you for your questions. The CAAC has paid great attention to the 737 Max 8 investigation because more jets being grounded in China than in any other country. Of course, regarding the 737 Max 8's return to service, we have maintained technological cooperation and communication with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Boeing Company, and the European Union aviation regulator. Boeing's CEO has also talked with me twice about this issue. China was the first to halt commercial operations of all Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes worldwide following the two fatal crashes. The decision was made based on a zero-tolerance attitude toward safety risks and a high degree of professionalism in safeguarding our aviation security, which demonstrated our strong sense of responsibility toward protecting human life and safety. We have also adopted the same attitude regarding the resumption of flights and the safety of the revised design of the 737 Max 8 must be guaranteed before the airplane resumes operation. When exchanging views with the FAA and Boeing, we proposed three principles for Boeing's flight resumption in China, that is: changes to the airplane's design must receive airworthiness approval; the pilots must be trained fully and effectively, and; results of the investigations into the two crashes must be clear and measures for improvement must be comprehensive. Considering these three principles, we have not set a timetable for resuming 737 Max 8 flights in China. However, we are willing to see the jets return to service as long as they meet these requirements. In the meantime, we continue to enforce a strict evaluation of the airworthiness of these airplanes to ensure flight safety. Thank you.

Thecover.cn:

Just now, Mr. Feng said that the service quality of the civil aviation sector has improved significantly nationwide during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, with various public service measures achieving effective results. Could you please give us more details regarding these results? Thank you.

Feng Zhenglin:

Thank you for your question. In the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China's civil aviation sector has considered the provision of comprehensive sincere service a fundamental requirement to improve service quality, give people a stronger sense of security and gain regarding air travel, and maintain efforts to ensure airport on-time performance and service quality. In particular, we have tried to pursue service quality development by increasing the flight punctuality rate. In the 13th Five-Year Plan period, we were committed to seeking improvement in 12 areas of service, and the relevant work is well underway.

First, we have pledged that flight punctuality would reach 80% in the 13th Five-Year Plan period. As I just said, based on an assessment of the current situation, this goal can be achieved thanks to a series of improvement measures that we have adopted. In particular, we have conducted comprehensive management regarding operational bodies, especially airline companies, airports, and air traffic control sectors, so that an effective flight punctuality system has taken shape. At present, the weather accounts for 60% of all factors that affect flight punctuality.

Second, paperless ticketing has been popularized and is now used at 229 airports and across major airline companies nationwide. Passengers at airports, especially Beijing Daxing International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport, are likely to have noticed the notably shortened waiting times.

Third, luggage services have been improved. The number of bags that are damaged or sent to the wrong destination has decreased significantly. A network of radio frequency identification devices (RFID) is taking shape, enabling whole-journey luggage tracking on some specified air routes. The technology allows air passengers to follow information about their luggage in real-time after baggage check-in, avoiding the possibility of passengers boarding without their luggage in the cargo hold.

Fourth, transfer services are more convenient. At present, eight airline companies and 29 airports are actively conducting a pilot project on luggage check-through services for domestic cross-airline transfer passengers. This transfer service has seen effective results thanks to an active, responsive system. Moreover, airline companies are actively exploring air-rail intermodality, enabling one-stop ticketing, one-pass customs clearance, and seamless passenger transfers at some airports with railway links.

Fifth, flight information services have been more standardized. Airline companies and ticket agencies are now implementing strict measures to provide information to ticket buyers, establishing dynamic information systems and processes that offer real-time flight information via multiple means. This significantly improves information service quality during ticketing and check-in procedures.

Sixth, we have adopted tiered pricing for ticket changes and refunds. Currently, 41 domestic airline companies have implemented tiered pricing to ensure more reasonable charges and more efficient services for ticket changes and refunds.

Seventh, catering services at airports have adopted a principle of "same price and quality citywide." We have promoted airports to charge consumers the same price for the same catering services within the same city by implementing various means such as catering industry entry standards, alignment with benchmark prices, and certification of shops with price parity. Meanwhile, we have made efforts to offer greater product variety for in-flight catering services to better meet the need of air passengers. Some airline companies also provide offline meal ordering services for in-flight meals.

Eighth, in-flight Wi-Fi construction has been accelerated. So far, 19 airline companies provide in-flight Wi-Fi on 506 of their aircraft, covering 8.55 million passengers. This service allows air passengers to access the internet on their trips, communicate via WeChat, and use other online amenities.

Ninth, the average passenger self-check-in rate has exceeded 70%. At present, passengers' average self-check-in rate stands at 72% across 37 mega airports in China with an annual passenger throughput of over 10 million. Customer satisfaction remains high through self-check-in machines, online, and via smartphone apps.

Tenth, trial implementation of a new security check has been made gradually. Currently, credit-based security checks have been piloted at 15 mega airports, each witnessing at least 10 million passenger trips each year. At some international airports, including Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport, passengers have experienced one-stop security checks, with customs inspection and civil aviation security checks achieving the same check results.

Eleventh, we have accelerated the application of information technology in aviation logistics. In 2019, nearly 1.8 million electronic air waybills were used, which quickened the pace in promoting the modernization of aviation logistics.

Twelfth, the civil aviation service and complaints hotline 12326 has been put into use. By doing so, we have broadened the channels to handle passenger complaints, with domestic airline companies providing an effective response rate of 100%.

Meanwhile, we have actively promoted various special services in the 13th Five-Year Plan period. As I mentioned, we issued the Management Measures for Air Transport of Persons with Disabilities, offered exclusive access to military personnel in accordance with the law, established mother-and-baby facilities, and opened a civil aviation "green passage" for the transfer of donated organs which has so far been used 5,149 times.

Generally speaking, all public service installations we pledged have been implemented. Thank you.

CRNTT:

High-speed rail has become a calling card for China, with achievements being witnessed by all. What progress has been made in improving rail transport service to meet the people's expectations for a better life? Thank you.

Liu Zhenfang:

Thank you for your question. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, we have adhered to a people-centered approach and vigorously implemented supply-side structural reform. Continuous improvement has been made in the supply, quality and safety of rail transport.

First, the quality has significantly increased, enabling people to have a much better travel experience. China has built the world's most advanced high-speed rail network. As you said, it has become a calling card for China, winning universal praise for advanced technology, safety, punctuality, efficiency and sustainability. CRH (China Railways High-speed) is now the most popular mode of transportation among Chinese people.

We have improved the overall quality of rail services and upgraded the supply of passenger transport products. A product series has been created covering passenger trains with boast various classes and operating at different speeds and schedules. We have stepped up efforts to make rail passenger transport more market-based, convenient and informationized. E-ticket, facial recognition, railway applications and other innovative services have been rolled out. Other services including the combination of air transportation with high-speed rail, mutual recognition of security checks and online food orders have become more convenient and efficient. The environment of train stations and coaches as well as the quality of services have noticeably improved. All the efforts are aimed at fulfilling passengers' needs for diverse, personalized and high-quality transport products and services.

Second, we have increased the supply capacity regarding railway freight transport and stepped up market-oriented reforms in the sector. A group of trunk railways including the Haolebaoji-Ji'an, Lanzhou-Chongqing and Quzhou-Ningde lines were opened. The operation of newly built high-speed railways has unleashed the capacity of existing lines and further increased the supply of freight transport services. We have boosted the development of multimodal transport and the combination of water and railway transportation. We have made efforts to promote the construction of industrial sidings and logistic bases to remove barriers in both "the first and the last miles". In response to market demand, we have optimized the supply of railway products, improved a market-based pricing system and promoted development of heavy haul transportation and express trains. Container transport, cold-chain transport and high-speed rail express have become current highlights in the growth of railway freight transportation. We have also promoted the application of electronic receipts and improved the quality of services in this sector.

Third, railway transport has played an active role in enhancing public welfare and combating poverty. We accelerated railway development in poverty-stricken areas of western China. The railway length in central and western China has continuously increased, now accounting for 62% of the country's total. We optimized the allocation of railway capacity. The non-commercial "slow-train" and special train for agricultural produce services were launched to ensure passenger travel and cargo transport in poverty-stricken areas. Express lines were made available for supplies needed in disaster relief, public health emergency responses and national defense transport.

Fourth, the foundation for safety was cemented, enabling the rail network to maintain safe and stable operation. We uphold the principle that people's interests come first and life matters most, so that we have sought to promote safe development, and attached great importance to the safe operation of high-speed and express passenger trains. We strengthened risk prevention and the screening of potential safety hazards as well as increased the capacity of equipment technology to guarantee railway safety. We have been urging enterprises to fulfill their primary responsibilities in ensuring safe production and improving the regulatory system for railway safety. We have taken systematic, comprehensive and concerted measures to improve the environment along railway lines. As a result, the network has been able to maintain safe and stable operations. Thank you.

Red Star News:

It is stated in the 13th Five-Year Plan for postal service development that China will have developed a modern postal service industry that conforms to a moderately prosperous society by 2020. What progress has been made so far? What role has it played in meeting the Chinese people's demand for postal services on their way to a better life? Thank you.

Ma Junsheng:

Thank you for asking. My answer is that we have achieved positive progress. While making the 13th Five-Year Plan for postal service development, we set out the goal of developing a modern postal service industry that conforms to a moderately prosperous society according to China's national conditions and developmental trends in the world's postal industry. Focusing on this goal, we outlined 18 indicators across five aspects, namely measuring scale of development, service ability, service level, innovation capacity, and competitive strength. So far, all of these goals have been reached, with the exception of the international business ratio, which fell short of our expectation due to the impact of the pandemic this year.

The implementation of the plan has played a great role in meeting the Chinese people's demands for postal services. The past five years have seen the strongest sense of gain among the Chinese people; the fastest growth in industry strength; the most solid links among primary, secondary, and tertiary industries; and the biggest international influence exerted. The fundamental strategic role of the industry has also been significantly enhanced. The postal service industry has given more prominent support to the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries with better services, improved timeliness, wider access, and more comprehensive coverage of businesses. In particular, our efficient and cost-effective postal and express services have helped with the prosperous development of e-commerce. Online retail sales, thanks to the support of the postal service, exceeded 8 trillion yuan last year. The figure is expected to exceed 10 trillion yuan this year. By the end of September, the proportion of total retail sales in consumer goods in China had reached 24.3%, demonstrating the significant role of the postal service. Moreover, our services for modern agriculture and advanced manufacturing are moving toward specialization and extending to high-end industries. Meanwhile, two-way circulation channels have been further opened up in the countryside. Last year, we helped to send industrial products to the countryside and agricultural products to cities, with their total output value surpassing 870 billion yuan. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Transport, the level of coordination and integration between postal and transport services has been significantly improved.

Over the past five years, our infrastructure network has been expanded in an all-round way. We have mainly promoted the construction of express logistics parks and air express freight hubs. A total of 313 new hubs equipped with automatic sorting equipment have been built nationwide, raising the overall level of automation. We have also made great efforts to bring express delivery services to towns and villages. Now, express delivery outlets in rural areas cover more than 30,000 towns. We have also stepped up efforts to develop urban and rural terminal service outlets, and their density has been greatly increased. At present, there are 320,000 postal express outlets in China, equating to one service outlet per every 4,500 people (as calculated for a population of 1.4 billion). Such a high density is second to none in the world.

Over the past five years, we have also made remarkable achievements in innovative development. We are accelerating the application of artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, and blockchain technology. Our intelligent customer and warehouse service as well as the Beidou navigation technology has been put into use, and we have made breakthroughs in the application of unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, and unmanned warehouses, as well as in intelligent security inspection technology. Technological iteration and upgrading has indeed greatly improved our operational efficiency.

Over the past five years, we have greatly accelerated the pace toward an environmentally friendly postal service industry. We have made full efforts in promoting projects "9571" and "9792." In the past, postal express waybills were handwritten; now, there is no such need, as almost 99% of waybills are electronic. This move makes the postal service more environmentally friendly and efficient. In the past, it took us approximately 10 minutes to write a waybill for a single express parcel, but now it takes less than two minutes to process an express parcel. The industry now saves significant resources given that 80 billion express parcels are processed per year.

Over the past five years, the industry's security services have remained stable overall. During the epidemic prevention and control this year, delivery persons fulfilled their duty in the face of the epidemic, guaranteeing normal delivery of epidemic prevention and control supplies and basic daily necessities. In addition, the per capita volume of express parcels in China stood at 45 in 2019 and is expected to reach nearly 60 this year, which is about twice the global average.

Over the past five years, delivery efficiency has also increased steadily. More than two-thirds of China's provincial-level regions have realized same-day delivery of Party newspapers and periodicals to areas at and above the county level. Government services for the convenience of the people such as "Internet Plus Postal Service" have been widely promoted throughout the country. More express delivery businesses have offered products to fulfill their promises. Precise delivery services such as scheduled delivery have also developed rapidly. Multiple delivery means, including home delivery, postbox delivery, and delivery to an outlet have been widely put into application. Customer satisfaction with universal post and express delivery services has also increased steadily.

China News Service:

The newly-built Beijing Daxing International Airport epitomizes the rapid development of medium- and large-sized airports across the country during the 13th Five-Year Plan. Could you please give us an overall view of airport construction during this period? Thank you.

Feng Zhenglin:

Thank you for your question. The construction of airports for civil aviation, which is conducive to the fulfillment of the 13th Five-Year Plan, can be defined by their large-scale, fast construction, large investment and efficient operations. By the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the number of airports across the country is expected to reach 241, with 43 new and relocated or refurbished airports. These include an additional 41 runways, 5.88 million square meters of terminal space and 2,264 more aircraft parking spaces to expand airport capacity to 1.4 billion visits. The number of airports in the country with a capacity above 10 million increased from 26 at the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan to 39 by 2019. In addition, 11 of these have reached a capacity above 30 million. This has substantially improved the shortfalls and limited capacity of key airports.

Second, construction has progressed quickly. The last five years has seen construction of Beijing Daxing International Airport and refurbishment and expansion of 15 medium- and large-sized airports, including in Shanghai's Pudong New Area, Chongqing municipality, Wuhan and Zhengzhou. You will be aware that Beijing Daxing International Airport, the huge top-level international aviation hub, was completed in four and a half years during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Having been in operation for less than one year by Sept. 22, the airport has seen throughput of more than 10 million passengers, indicating a good momentum for quality development among large-sized international airports in spite of the pandemic's impact. During the same period, nine airports, including those in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region; Shenzhen, Guangdong province; Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province; and Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, are being expanded. Renovations to Chengdu Tianfu International Airport, the new Qingdao airport and Guiyang Airport are also all well underway. Construction has started on Ezhou Airport in Hubei province, China's first air freight transport center, with modern engineering management. From my own visits, I can assure you of their utmost advanced information technology and engineering application which guarantee the speed and quality of construction. In addition, the expansion or relocation of a number of small or non-key airports has been completed. The year 2017 marked the most fruitful year in China's civil aviation history with 14 additional runways and 11 new air carrier airports under construction or opening to operations. The approval of the third phase of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport took only four months before construction started recently.

Third, the investment completion efficiency is high. Fixed investment is projected to reach 460 billion yuan by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period, registering growth of 26% over the previous five-year plan. During the past three quarters, investment into fixed assets reached 74 billion yuan, marking a rise of around 20% year on year. This achievement symbolizes our efforts in counteracting the pandemic's impact with project coordination and construction monitoring.

Fourth, construction work has been highly effective. The refurbishment and expansion of many key airports has progressed smoothly. As a result, they have played a significant role in ensuring the support of the once insufficient infrastructure capacities of civil aviation by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period. The new projects and plentiful reserve have reinforced the foundation for infrastructure construction during the next five-year plan. Following the requirements of General Secretary Xi, who called on us to build high-quality projects with zero accidents and no corruption, we have resolved to win consent from both the Party and the people with our constructions exemplified in particular by Beijing Daxing International Airport. Meanwhile, based on certain prerequisites, we proposed four additional guiding principles of "safe, smart, green and people centered" for future airports. These principles will be applied to the standards and quality designs as well as the functions and effects of airports in the future.

In addition, our modern large-sized airports will be included in the construction of holistic transport systems, especially the integration with high-speed railways. Centered around the building of large and essential international airports, we will accelerate the construction of our comprehensive transport system. By 2019, 25 out of 39 airports, each with a capacity of over 10 million, have been connected with 37 rail lines. This development is still continuing.

Fifth, this construction work supports the implementation of national strategies. Since the beginning of the 13th Five-Year Plan period, we have built 31 small and non-key airports, relocated eight small airports and expanded the capacity of 34 airports. Among these, 50 are located in western, border or impoverished areas. So far, 92% of prefecture-level cities, 88% of the population and 93% of GDP are within a 100 kilometer radius of civil aviation services, with these figures increasing by 4.8, 3.6 and 2.4 percentage points respectively during the past five years. This work has contributed to the critical phase of China's poverty-alleviation campaign, the development of the western regions and efforts to boost border areas to allow local people to live in abundance. Thank you.

CNR:

My question is for Minister Li Xiaopeng. You mentioned that the Ministry of Transport has invested a total of 950 billion yuan of vehicle purchase tax revenue during the 13th Five-Year Plan period in the construction of road projects in impoverished areas. Could you please explain in more detail how this money is being spent? Can you also share some highlights and experiences from your work? Thank you.

Li Xiaopeng:

Thank you for your question. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the central government has invested a large amount of vehicle purchase tax revenue in supporting road construction projects in impoverished areas. People are very concerned that where the money has been invested and what the results have been. At this stage, as I just said, investment has exceeded 950 billion yuan. So far, the exact figure is 953.8 billion yuan for highway projects in impoverished areas.

In terms of categories, the investment in expressways is 286.9 billion yuan, the renovation of national and provincial roads is 356.7 billion yuan, and the investment in rural roads is 310.2 billion yuan. In terms of different regions, 60.3 billion yuan has been spent to impoverished areas in east China, 146.3 billion yuan in impoverished areas in the central region, and 747.2 billion yuan in impoverished areas in the west. In terms of results, from 2016 to 2019, we supported the construction and reconstruction of 16,900 kilometers of national expressways in poor areas, 52,500 kilometers of ordinary national highways, construction of around 96,000 kilometers of tarmac and cement roads in natural villages with large populations in poor areas, and completed safety and life protection projects along around 458,000 kilometers of countryside roads. A total of 143,000 kilometers of narrow subgrades and pavements were widened and reconstructed, and around 15,000 dangerously dilapidated bridges were rebuilt. These projects have had very good results.

During this work, our main experience has been that the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee is the fundamental guarantee for doing this work well. Support from all sides and the efforts of the whole industry are a solid foundation for doing this work well. If you would like to know about specific work experiences, I would say there have been four points. First, raising standards and continuing to increase investment. Second, continuing to work hard and insisting on precise policy implementation. Third, carrying out strict supervision and preventing falsehoods. Fourth, making effective connections with the rural revitalization strategy.

Going forward, the Ministry of Transport will continue to implement the spirit of the important instructions made by General Secretary Xi Jinping on poverty alleviation, and maintain the momentum of poverty alleviation in transportation. We should start well and end well; do positive things and achieve good results. We will not retreat until we have achieved victory, and will make greater contributions for the development of transportation in poor areas. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

That concludes today's press conference. Thank you, minister and directors. Thank you everyone.

Li Xiaopeng:

Thank you, Mr. Hu Kaihong.

Translated and edited by Zhu Bochen, Zhang Junmian, Yang Xi, Lin Liyao, Wang Zhiyong, Wang Yanfang, Wang Yiming, Zhou Jing, Li Xiao, Zhang Rui, Zhang Liying, Xu Xiaoxuan, Fan Junmei, Wu Jin, Li Huiru, Wang Wei, Duan Yaying, Huang Shan, Geoffrey Murray, David Ball, Laura Zheng, Tom Arnstein, and Jay Birbeck. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.