China's railway operator said heavy investment in its high-speed network would continue in 2018, although it plans to spend less on fixed assets than last year. Despite the mountain of debt racked up by China Railway Corp through years of huge construction projects, analysts say the plan will help to offset a decline in property investment and to stabilise economic growth in the country. The company has allocated 732 billion yuan (US$112.4 billion) for fixed-asset investment this year - less than the 801 billion yuan for 2017 but roughly in line with the average of the past five years, the company said at its annual conference in Beijing on Tuesday.The funds will go to projects that are part of a national plan to extend China's high-speed railway network to 30,000km by 2020, linking most of the big cities, general manager Lu Dongfu said. The plan is to have high-speed railway lines covering 38,000km across the country by 2025. China's high-speed railway network is already the biggest in the world at 25,000km, and many provincial capitals can be reached from Beijing within eight hours. Lu said another 3,500km of high-speed railway lines would begin operating this year.China Railway Corp, which was formerly the Ministry of Railways, also said it would continue to revamp its operations. "[It] will deepen reform of non-transport subsidies and actively promote a 'mixed ownership' restructuring plan," Lu said. The state-run railway operator wants to follow the same path as the country's second-biggest telecoms operator China Unicom - which introduced strategic investors such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu late last year - and will seek private investment in its subsidiaries and some construction projects. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post. original article on South China Morning Post. For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2018.