Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, stressed the significance of the high-speed railway line connecting Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the co-host city of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the opening of the line on Monday marked new progress in the preparations for the Winter Olympics, and other related work should also be pushed ahead following high standards.
In 1909, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, the first railway designed and built by Chinese, had a design speed of just 35 kph. The new high-speed line, the most advanced in the world, boasts a design speed of 350 kph.
"The Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway line has witnessed the development of Chinese rail as well as leaps in China's comprehensive strength," Xi said.
Looking back at history, the new line carries even greater significance, Xi said.
Construction on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway began in December 2015 as part of the important infrastructure for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
With the launch of the new service, it will take less than an hour for people to travel from Beijing to the main venue in Zhangjiakou.