Executive Intelligence Review


China and Russia Establish New Highway and Freight Train Routes

Oct. 10, 2018 (EIRNS)—A vast motorway stretching from the Yellow Sea off eastern China to the Russian port of St. Petersburg has opened to traffic, providing an alternative overland trade route between Asia and Europe. It will allow trucks to drive from the Chinese city of Lianyungang to St. Petersburg in ten days, compared with the 45 days it takes by sea. Part of China’s huge Belt and Road Initiative, the Europe-China Highway covers 5,248 miles, linking China to Russia via Kazakhstan.

A new China-Europe freight train line was launched as well on Oct. 9, linking Delingha in northwest China’s Qinghai Province, with Russia. The first train, loaded with chemical containers, will leave China through the Alataw Pass in Xinjiang and pass through Kazakhstan before reaching Barnaul in Russia. The trip covers 4,345 km and takes about 12 days.

Delingha, in the Mongolian-Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Haixi, is located in the Qaidam Basin, China’s highest basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, abundant in mineral resources.

Since 2016, four China-Europe freight train routes have been launched in Qinghai, helping boost the international competitiveness of local goods. As of late August, China-Europe freight trains marked 10,000 trips since starting in March 2011. As of June 30, China’s freight rail services link 48 domestic cities with 42 European cities.