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Chinese lifestyle: changes in transportation (Part three)

Xinhua)  14:53, October 10, 2012

A modern car runs past an ancient transportation museum in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 9, 2007. (Xinhua/Wang Song)

From wheelbarrows to horse- driven wagons, from bikes to motorcycles, from public buses to household cars: in China, the means of transportation has been in rapid change in past decades. Read more >>> Chinese lifestyle: changes in transportation (Part one)

Bikes were considered "posh" between the 1950s and 70s. For people of the day, bikes, along with watches, sewing machines and radios, were the four prerequisites for qualified marriages. It seemed that the "two-wheel dream" was the dream of a generation.

Into the 1980s, a motorised version of the "two-wheel dream" held sway over Chinese people. Motorcycles replaced bikes as the preferred travelling tool and an object of envy. Read more >>> Chinese lifestyle: changes in transportation (Part two)

The 1990s and the beginning years of the 21st century saw a surge of household car ownership, as the country became further urbanized and its car industry developed. The simple array of five arabic numbers on car license plates turned into a more sophisticated letter-digit combination. Garages are built within new apartments, which no longer have woodsheds or storage rooms like their older counterparts. The "two-wheel dream" has been upgraded to a "four-wheel dream".

As the number of household cars increases, which was 225 million in 2011, public transportation developed as well. In addition to road travelling, airplanes, ships, underground metro systems and high-speed railways are offering alternatives to travellers. From the arduous trip to a nearby town in the past to today's easy access to any province in the country, the changes in China's transportation are huge. They are not simply technical, but rather a gauge of improved living standard, diversified ways of travelling and the advancement of the society.

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