New silk road cheaper than air and faster than sea refers to the first freight train connecting China to the UK. The Chinese line came as a first step in the “Belt and Road” project, announced by the Chinese government in 2013.
This huge project is reviving ancient trade routes between the three ancient continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. The choice of silk road was a genius idea that was took from the phenomena of romantic camel travels back to 2000 years ago, when China used them to travel and transport their goods, meantime when the silk was one of the most precious merchandise.
In this context, China aims to reestablish this history of romantic pathway by connecting Asia to Europe via rails, including more than 60 countries along the road that will benefit from this initiative especially the Central Asian countries.
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The project is worth about $ 250 billion and it is expected that the final investment will be approximately $ 4 trillion when the project is concluded. The <one belt one road> was launched on January 2017, the freight span about 7,456 miles (12,000 km) of railways which make it the longest freight train in over the world, crossing Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France and lastly the UK via the Channel Tunnel and it takes a duration of 18 days to get to London, as well as a brand-new road will be open sonly between China and North Korea, which will rise North Korean exports to China and Europe. Consequently, this will stimulate the Asian economy.
The containers used are reloaded several times with different track gauges, along the way these routes will pass through countries and regions covering 50% of the entire GDP.
According to Xi Jinping the President of the Republic of China, this initiative focuses on connectivity and cooperation between powerful and non-powerful countries, the benefit must flow in both directions from China to Europe and Africa.
The purpose beyond this strategy for China is to boost the infrastructure investments in Europe and Africa, furthermore it will provide expertise for global markets, set up a win/win strategy, enhance the international image of China and strengthen its competitiveness, also by the same occasion offering an advanced outlet to Chinese factories often overcapacity.
In addition, the adoption of the latest silk road will allow china to build robust relationships with other nations and exchange cultures and know-how, and get access to wealthy importers markets, furthermore the new line way costs half of air transport and it’s faster than sea shipping, so its an efficient strategy to save both time and money and facilitate exchanging goods in many countries.
London is the 15th city served by this new rail freight service, offered by the state-owned China Railway Corporation not only with this historic achievement, but as well with an exchange of goods and services in both Asia and Europe which has become faster and safer and in the long term. As result, China will be able to accumulate a significant experience in terms of Exporting and Importing goods and maybe set up a new model in the future with higher speed railways.