China’s rail empire expands:
China has launched a direct rail freight service to London, as part of its drive to develop trade and investment ties with Europe.
China Railway already runs services between China and other European cities, including Madrid and Hamburg.
The train will take about two weeks to cover the 12,000 mile journey and is carrying a cargo of clothes, bags and other household items.
It has the advantage of being cheaper than air freight and faster than sea.
The proliferation of routes linking China and Europe is part of a strategy launched in 2013 aimed at boosting infrastructure links with Europe along the former Silk Road trading routes.
Incidentally, the route starts in the city of Yiwu, Zhejiang province, which I have not visited but which boasts the world’s largest wholesale market for cheap crap (Chinese media claims that more than 60% of the world’s Christmas decorations are made in Yiwu):
This is another big achievement for China’s Eurasian infrastructure and trade strategy, annoyingly called “One Belt, One Road.”