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China approves 8 railway, airport projects

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BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top economic planner announced Wednesday it has approved feasibility reports on five airport and three railway projects, with a total investment of 150 billion yuan (24.4 billion U.S. dollars).

The five airports, with planned investments of 5.49 billion yuan, are located in the provinces of Jilin, Qinghai, Yunnan, Guizhou and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, mostly in the country's western regions, according to statements on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The three railway projects, making up a majority of the planned investment, are worth 144.52 billion yuan.

The move came as the government looks to boost infrastructure investment in the country's less developed central and western regions to support the faltering growth.

Earlier this year, the country upgraded its railway construction to include raising planned fixed-asset investment to 800 billion yuan, putting 7,000 km of new railways into operation and kicking off 64 new railway projects.

Data on Tuesday showed China's urban fixed-asset investment grew only 16.1 percent year on year to 35.78 trillion yuan in the first nine months, largely due to a continuing downturn in the real estate market that has dragged down the broader economy, which slowed to 7.3 percent in the third quarter.

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