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China to promote combined rail-and-waterway transportation network

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BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Railways signed an agreement on Tuesday to jointly promote the development of China's combined rail-and-waterway transportation network.

The agreement, regarded by the Chinese government as a concrete step in the establishment of a fully integrated transportation system, will increase efficiency, cut costs and contribute to China's efforts to save energy and reduce carbon emissions, said Li Shenglin, China's minister of transportation.

According to the agreement, the two ministries will work to optimize China's existing rail-and-waterway transportation network, increase the construction of needed infrastructure and create supportive policies and regulations for the network, said Weng Mengyong, vice minister of transportation.

The ministries will also work together to strengthen the management of the network and work with ports and shipping and railway companies to develop related businesses, Weng said.

Weng said that the number of shipping containers handled through China's combined rail-and-waterway transportation network is less than 2 percent of the total amount of containers handled at the country's ports.

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