China's transport industry saw steady recovery as investment in its infrastructure rose 6 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year to top 1.45 trillion yuan ($207 billion), according to the Ministry of Transport.
The country's investment in the construction of roads and waterways rose 7.8 percent to 1.08 trillion yuan during the January-June period, accounting for over 60 percent of the annual target set for this year, ministry spokesman Sun Wenjian told a news conference on Thursday.
Investment in railway infrastructure hit 325 billion yuan over the past six months, while civil aviation infrastructure reached 40.1 billion yuan, representing more than 40 percent of their annual targets, he added.
By Thursday, construction had resumed on all of the 625 key transport projects, and 430 new road and waterway projects had been launched to cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus, he said.
Sun noted that the country will continue to expand investment in the transport sector and promote the construction of major transport projects including the Sichuan-Tibet Railway and Beijing-Xiong'an expressway.
The ministry also encourages the private sector to fund transport infrastructure, and barriers to market access should be leveled to maintain a fair competitive order, he added.
With the resumption of economic activities and social life, passenger trip volume, though still at a low level compared to the same period last year, has seen an upturn after the epidemic-induced setback, he said.
In the first half of the year, 16.9 billion passenger trips were made via public transportation in the country's 36 major cities, a year-on-year decline of over 48 percent.
But the figure in June reclaimed about 69 percent of last year's volume and was over 37 percent higher than the end of the first quarter.
The country witnessed similar decreases in intercity passenger trips during the period, which slumped 54.8 percent to 3.96 billion, he said.