After leaving China back at the start of January this year and making it all the way to London in just 18 days, the first freight train linking China with the United Kingdom arrived back in the Chinese manufacturing hub of Yiwu on Saturday.
The journey from the UK capital took 19 days, traveling over 12,000 kilometers and passing through seven other countries on the way. The train was loaded with 32 containers, mostly filled with maternity products and soft drinks.
Yiwu is home to a multitude of factories that produce everything from the clothes you wear to the Christmas decorations you put on your tree. Already, there is express freight service from China to 28 different European cities. By 2020, China hopes that 5,000 trips will be made each year over the trans-continental freight lines.
This is all part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, aimed at developing trade and transport infrastructure across Asia and Europe, and revitalizing the ancient Silk Road. To fund this effort, China has set aside $40 billion.
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