(Yicai Global) April 12 -- China has opened 57 routes of China-Europe Railway Express, an international container train service between China and Europe, linking 35 Chinese cities to 34 cities in 12 countries, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said in a report on the development of the Belt and Road Initiative yesterday.
The number of China-Europe Railway Express trains surged last year, with over 3,000 trains in operation, more than the combined number of trains in service between 2011 and 2016. Of these, the longest-route train linking Yiwu, Zhejiang to Madrid, Spain ran 112 times in the first three quarters of 2017, transporting about 10,000 standard containers, up over onefold each year.
China and Europe are linked by aviation routes, with 2,500 flights travelling between Europe and China each day. Interconnection across Eurasia is easier now than ever before, said Yang Liqiong, an associate professor at China Tourism Academy. The country has built 75 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones with 24 nations along the route of the Belt and Road, with total investment topping USD50 billion, generating nearly 200,000 jobs for these countries, thus shoring up their industrial foundations and injecting investment into them, the report further notes.
Ever more countries and international organizations now understand and accept the One Belt, One Road initiative since Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposed resurrecting China’s ancient trade routes on a visit to Kazakhstan in 2013. China is further exploring the potential of its partners, with whom it has reached agreement on a series of main cooperative projects. Russia is also planning to extend its Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail line -- in part with USD8.1 billion in Chinese funding -- through Kazakhstan the entire 7,769 kilometers to Beijing to tie it into China’s 19,000-plus kilometer high-speed rail network, thus embedding it in China’s Belt and Road. Building the line would be more than quarter travel time to 33 hours, Bloomberg News reported in January last year.
Editor: Ben Armour