Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

National Trunk Highway System

The National Trunk Highway System is a system of freeways currently under construction in the People's Republic of China. It is similar in scope to the Interstate highway system in the United States. Construction begin in 1990 and it is scheduled to be complete in 2020. The scale of the project can be seen by the fact that in 1989, the PRC had 271 km of freeways, but by 2003, it had 20,000 km of freeway, 4000 km of which were built in 2003.

Unlike other freeway systems, almost all of the roads on the NTHS are toll roads which are largely financed by private companies under contract from provincial governments. The private companies raise money through bond and stock offerrings and recover money through tolls.

Efforts to impose a national gasoline tax to finance construction of the tollways met with opposition and it has been very difficult for the government to pass such a tax through the National People's Congress of China.