Guangzhou targets transport hub role
China Daily

Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, is promoting the construction of a global transportation hub by increasing investment in the building or expansion of its airport, ports, high-speed railway lines and expressways.

Photo taken on Feb 20, 2021 shows a train at the Longzhen train depot of Guangzhou Metro Line 18 and Line 22 in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province. The first electric train, with a maximum designed speed of 160 km per hour, was put into the designated location at the Longzhen train depot of Guangzhou Metro Line 18 and Line 22 on Saturday. Metro Line 18 and Line 22, linking the urban area and Nansha free-trade zone in Guangzhou, will be the first metro lines within Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area with a maximum designed speed of 160 km per hour. [Photo/Xinhua]

It will also enhance infrastructure connectivity with Hong Kong and Macao and other major cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to speed up construction of a world-class Bay Area, said Zhou Qingfeng, deputy director of Guangzhou's development and reform commission.

"As a national core city, Guangzhou will be able to play a leading role in coordinating and promoting the planning and construction of an advanced intercity railway network in the Greater Bay Area in the following years," Zhou said at a news conference on Wednesday.

He said Guangzhou is planning to build a high-speed railway line linking Guangzhou South Railway Station and Guangzhou Railway Station that will reduce the time it takes to travel from its downtown area to Hong Kong to one hour.

Guangzhou will also build a railway link with Macao to promote Macao and Zhuhai's access to the national high-speed rail network, he said.

"Guangzhou plans to construct 15 intercity railway projects with a total investment of 398.3 billion yuan ($61.8 billion) to help connect Guangzhou with major cities in the Greater Bay Area," Zhou said.

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, the world's busiest passenger airport last year, started its third-phase expansion project, including construction of a new terminal and two runways, late last year.

Wang Xiaoyong, its general manager, said the airport, which now operates more than 230 international flight routes, will have three terminals and five runways, allowing it to handle more than 140 million passengers a year once the expansion project is completed.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guangzhou airport handled 43.8 million passengers last year.

Yuan Yue, deputy director of Guangzhou Port, said it now operates more than 210 international container ocean routes and will complete the fourth-phase expansion of Nansha Port, located at the mouth of the Pearl River, this year. The project will dredge waterways and increase pier capacity to meet growing demand.

Guangzhou Port handled more than 56.7 million metric tons of cargo last month, a year-on-year increase of 19.3 percent and a record high for a single month.

Its cargo throughput reached 636 million metric tons last year, ranking fourth in the world, while its container throughput was 23.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units, fifth in the world, Yuan said.

Guangzhou's transport department and metro company have also promised to expand and improve the city's expressways and subway network to support its ambition to become an international transportation hub.