BEIJING, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Trains in China will be able to travel at 200 km per hour by next April up from the current 160 km per hour, a railway official said Tuesday.
"It's a strategic move to raise the speed of trains for the country's railway development, and it is a requirement of economic growth," Zhang Qinghe, an official with the Public Security Bureau under the Ministry of Railways, told reporters.
Zhang also vowed to crackdown on criminal activities along the railway lines, such as stealing railway equipment and train cargo.
China has raised the speed of trains from 60 km per hour in 1997 to the current maximum of 160 km per hour.
China now has 75,000 kilometers of railways, with 6,500 kilometers built in the last five years.
Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun has said that in the five years from now to 2010, China will build 19,800 kilometers of new railway lines, and modernize 15,000 kilometers of existing railway lines.
He also said that China will invest 1.25 trillion yuan (150 billion U.S. dollars) into railway construction in the next five years. Enditem