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Yunnan news roundup

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Southwest China rail network to be upgraded
Rail lines linking Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi and Chongqing will be upgraded "at an early date" according to Yan Hexiang, deputy director of the Ministry of Railways' development planning department.

The ministry plans on adding more than 50,000 kilometers of new rail lines to China's less-developed west by 2020. Lines slated for improvement include the Kunming-Nanning, Chengdu-Guiyang, and Chongqing-Guiyang lines. China's west consists of more than 70 percent of the country's land area and is home to 370 million people.

Myanmar to build rail link to Yunnan
Myanmar will build a railroad connecting the border town of Muse with Yunnan's Jieguo, located near Ruili, according to Chinese media reports. The rail line is expected to boost the already flourishing trade between Myanmar and Yunnan, which is currently conducted with cars and trucks.

Since 1998, Myanmar has established five border trade areas with China, including Muse, Lwejei, Laizar, Chinshwehaw and Kambaiti. The country is planning on adding a sixth in the Kokang region, where in August of this year the Myanmar army overran an ethnic Chinese militia, sending thousands of refugees into Yunnan.

The border trade area at Muse primarily sends agricultural products, seafood, timber and gems into Yunnan, with steel, construction materials, computers, farm machinery and other finished products flowing in from China.

Carbon credits helping Yunnan build wind power infrastructure
Yunnan is using the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to rapidly build up its wind power network with foreign investment, according to an AFP report. The CDM allows industrialized nations to fulfill some greenhouse gas reduction requirements by investing in clean energy technologies in developing nations.

The Zhemoshan wind farm in Dali – located at an altitude of 3,000 meters – is the highest wind farm in China. Carbon credits produced by the project, which has been funded by a US$45 million loan from the French Development Agency, will be purchased by Dutch bank Rabobank, according to a representative from Sinohydro, the Chinese company which manages the farm.

It is hoped that the Dali wind farm and others in Yunnan will make up for the winter dropoff in hydroelectric power generation by the province's extensive network of dams.

China has gone from little installed wind generation capacity five years ago to 12.2 gigawatts of installed capacity last year, making it the world's fourth-largest wind power producer, behind only the US, Germany and Spain.

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