21/01 19:15
 

Cargo train linking Central Asia, east China begins operation

 HANGZHOU, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- A cargo train linking east China and five central Asian countries started operation on Monday amid hopes that it will boost development of the Silk Road economic belt that spans the Eurasian continent.

The train will travel 4,600 kilometers from Yiwu city of Zhejiang Province, pass through Alataw Pass in far west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and arrive in the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan. The line will then branch off to reach cities in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.

The longest route will reach 10,000 kilometers in length and take six days.

The first cargo trains from Yiwu to Alataw Pass and Khorgos in Xinjiang began operation in April last year.

Central Asian countries have since become important export destinations for commodities produced in Yiwu.

The city's wholesale market sells more than 1.7 million kinds of goods to 219 countries and regions, and receives 210,000 customers each day.

The strengthened trade connection between east China and central Asian countries comes after a "Silk Road Economic Belt" agreement was signed in November last year by 24 cities in eight countries along the Silk Road.

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the idea of the economic belt during his visit to Central Asia in September, eyeing a cultural revival of the Silk Road, which historically linked China with Central Asia and Europe, as a way of developing political and economic ties.

The new Silk Road covers 18 Asian and European countries with a total area of 50 million square km and a population of 3 billion people. It also boasts rich energy, mining, tourism, cultural and agricultural resources.

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