No fewer than 37,900 kilometers (about 23,500 miles) of lines crisscross the country, linking all of its major mega-city clusters, and all have been completed since 2008. Half of that total has been completed in the last five years alone, with a further 3,700 kilometers due to open in the coming months of 2021.
The network is expected to double in length again, to 70,000 kilometers, by 2035. With maximum speeds of 350 kph (217 mph) on many lines, intercity travel has been transformed and the dominance of airlines has been broken on the busiest routes.
By 2020, 75% of Chinese cities with a population of 500,000 or more had a high-speed rail ink.
Spain, which has Europe's most extensive high-speed network and occupies second place in the global league table, is a minnow in comparison with just over 2,000 miles of dedicated lines built for operation at over 250 kph.