Routes of communication. – According to Animalerts, the China was up to now very poorly equipped with railways; this hindered exchanges and stimulated autarchic tendencies, favored political regionalism and made it difficult to counter the famines, which from time to time affect the internal regions of the country. Only Manchuria had a fairly efficient network (11,500 km, out of a total of 31,000 km at the end of 1958, of which just 2,970 were double track). Until 1950, the Chinese network was divided into three arteries with a meridian direction: the Beijing-Wuhan-Canton (2345 km), the Beijing-Shanghai (1506 km) and the Beijing-Harbin (1800), with two main branches towards Vladivostok and Čita. Until now, the first of these lines had been interrupted at F. Azzurro: in October 1957 a large railway bridge (1760 m) was inaugurated in Wuhan, which also has a
One of the first railways to be opened (November 1951) was the line (420 km) connecting with Vietnam (Laipin-Munankuan) in Kuanghsi. Then in 1955 Litang (also in Kuanghsi) was connected with a trunk (318 km) to the port of Tsamkong (or Chanchiang). In central China (Szuch’uan) in July 1952 the Chungch’ing-Ch’engtu (505 km) was opened. Then in 1956 the Ch’engtu-Paoch’i section (678 km) was inaugurated with which the Szuch’uan red basin was connected to the Chinese network; to overcome the Tsinling relief it was necessary to build 41 tunnels on a stretch of only 40 km. Paoch’i has since become a very important hub, allowing communications between the Szuch’uan and the Hsinchiang line. Soon the Szuch’uan will also be able to communicate with the SO regions, the Neichiang (W of Chungch’ing) -K’unming line being under construction. In NW China, T’ienshui-Lanchou (342 km) was opened in October 1952. Along the F. Giallo in 1958 the Lanchou-Paot’ou line was opened (1100 km), the construction of which 30,000 workers were employed; this line (which crosses the Chialing valley with tunnels and bridges) will constitute an important link between the Hsinchiang railway and that of Mongolia. These are two lines of the utmost importance for relations with the USSR, the first still under construction, the second recently completed. On April 8, 1955, the Trans-Mongolian railway was inaugurated. It detaches from the Trans-Siberian at Ulan Ude, touches the capital of Mongolia (Ulan Bator), then crosses the Gobi, it crosses Inner Mongolia and reconnects to the Chinese railway network in Chining. Beijing is approached by this line to Europe of 1150 km. Since 1953, the Hsinchiang railway (2350 km) has been under construction, following the ancient silk road. Its course is from east to west. It starts from the Yellow Sea, touches K’aifeng and Hsian and after 1765 km it reaches Lanchou, from where the extension towards Urumchi (in cin. Tihwa), the capital of Hsinchiang, is in progress, from where it will reconnect with Aktogai, Turksib station. This new line will constitute a new, very important link between China and the Soviet Union and the main internal communication route between Europe and the Pacific. from where it will reconnect with Aktogai, Turksib station. This new line will constitute a new, very important link between China and the Soviet Union and the main internal communication route between Europe and the Pacific. from where it will reconnect with Aktogai, Turksib station. This new line will constitute a new, very important link between China and the Soviet Union and the main internal communication route between Europe and the Pacific.
The road network has also been improved, both in order to facilitate communications with neighboring countries, and to enhance the wealth of the more distant provinces, broadening the horizon of millions of men, who can now more easily exchange their products. In 1954, two highways were opened linking China with Tibet, one coming from Ch’engtu, the other from Hsining; they converge at Lasha and are connected to each other by another motorway which starts from Hsining and reaches E of Chamdo. For now, the number of cars is very limited, half of which belong to the state.
The new outer port of T’ienchin-Tangku has had considerable development in recent years, as has Whampoa, the outer port of Canton. Amoy is also in progress, since (1957) the railway section (698 km) was opened that connects it to Yingtan station with the Hangchou-Nanch’ang line.
Civilian airlines went from 11,000 to 33,000 km. In the post and telecommunications sector there were, at the end of 1958, 60,000 offices against 20,000 in 1949.