URUMQI, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will spend more than 10 billion yuan (1.48 billion U.S. dollars) on railway construction this year, local authorities said Friday.
The investment will flow to major railway projects, including a rail line linking Hotan Prefecture with Ruoqiang County in the Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin, according to the regional development and reform commission.
The construction of the Hotan-Ruoqiang railway began in December 2018 and will last three and a half years. The rail line is designed to be part of a railway network circling the Tarim Basin and a crucial passage linking Xinjiang with other inland Chinese regions.
Xinjiang's government work report released in January has vowed to improve the region's railway transportation in 2019, building new passages to the inland areas.
The administrative centers of all prefectures and 75 percent of county-level regions in Xinjiang will be connected by rail by 2020, according to Xinjiang's transport construction blueprint (2016-2030).