Beijing has ordered a halt to work on two high-speed rail projects with total investment of RMB 130 billion ($20 billion) in Shandong and Shaanxi provinces, signaling concern over growing local government debt, reported Caixin.
Work on a 270-kilometer line connecting Jinan, capital of East China’s Shandong province, and the city of Zaozhuang in the province’s south, was suspended last month, Caixin has learned. The other action saw work come to a halt this month on three lines with planned total investment of RMB 71.6 billion.
A person close to the Shandong rail system told Caixin that work on the Jinan-Zaozhuang line was halted partly because a section of the line was too similar to a stretch of the Beijing-to-Shanghai high-speed rail line that has operated for years. The new line was being funded by the Shandong provincial government and had total planned investment of RMB 58.5 billion.
Meantime, the Guanzhong Chengji project’s suspension was announced on the website of the Shaanxi government’s branch of the national state planner in a posting dated April 12. That posting stated: “The province has done an integrated review of the situation regarding rail construction and finances, and has suspended work on the Guanzhong Chengji project to lower risk levels.”