Since the 1978 reform, China's economy has grown steadily at an average rate of 7-8% per annum, becoming the fastest growing
major economy in the world with a nominal GDP of about US$5 trillion in 2009. The rapid expansion of the Chinese road network,
also known as the National Trunk Highway System (NTHS) is driven by the country's economic growth. China's expansion strategy
has led to increasing freight transport levels, demographic changes that saw the urbanisation rate increase from 17.4% to 41.8%
between 1978 and 2005, and a growing middle class resulting in car ownership to reach a projected total of 75 million vehicles by
the end of 2010.
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