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China section of new road to Europe opens

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-20 07:10

URUMQI - The Chinese section of a transcontinental expressway project linking China to Europe opened to traffic on Saturday.

The key 10-kilometer section of road, in the border city of Horgos, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, connects a border inspection area with the Lianyungang-Horgos expressway. It marks the full opening of the expressway in China.

The project - with a total length of 8,445 km - links Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, to St. Petersburg, Russia. China and Kazakhstan jointly proposed building the transport corridor in 2006. Construction began in 2008.

Li Zhinong, deputy head of the regional transportation department, said the opening of the Horgos section of the expressway will help further open up China to the West and facilitate the economic and social development of countries and regions along the Belt and Road.

Wang Haijiang, deputy mayor of Horgos, said the annual volume of freight exported through the Horgos port will increase to 3.5 million tons with the opening of the section.

He said cargo sent from Lianyungang to Europe will take just 10 days to arrive - instead of 45 - when roads replace shipping by sea.

According to the World Bank, the expressway project will help increase the volume of freight between China and Europe by 2.5 times, with new companies and supporting facilities along the way providing jobs for local people.

Transport company Huaxin Co Ltd in Horgos has been sending Chinese consumer products, as well as machinery, to Kazakhstan by truck.

"The old roads are in poor condition. The 370-km trip from Horgos to Almaty usually takes a whole day," company official Wang Yong said. The new expressway will help the company save time and reduce costs, Wang said.

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