China’s One Belt One Road Stretches to LondonPosted: January 20, 2017
According to SCMP’s report “First China-Britain freight train arrives in London as Beijing forges closer trade ties with Europe today”, the first direct cargo train arrived at London on January 18 after a 12,000km 18-days trip via Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Western Europe
The train carries only 24 containers much less than a container ship that is able to carry 10,000 to 20,000, but it is much quicker.
Compared with air transport, 20 containers are much more than a cargo plane and train freight is much cheaper.
SCMP says, “China Railway already has more than 10 freight train services to several European destinations including Madrid and Hamburg. They are part of President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” policy to revive the fabled Silk Road trading routes to the West, and London is the 15th city to be linked to the network.”
SCMP quotes Ramon Pacheco Pardo, an international relations lecturer at King’s College London as saying, “Economically [its significance] is still quite small. But politically it’s very significant because China wants to show it is connecting directly with Europe.” It means that China has an alternative route of trade with Europe even if its trade lifeline through the Indian Ocean is cut by US powerful navy.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2063555/new-silk-road-1st-china-london-freight-train-arrives