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Western provinces join hands to build land-sea corridor

By Tan Yingzi in Chongqing | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-05-16 20:11
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The New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor trade route has expanded its partnership, as Shaanxi province became a new member of the joint project at the ongoing Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Chongqing on Thursday.

Chongqing and eight provinces in western China — Guangxi, Guizhou, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Ningxia and Shaanxi — signed an agreement to build the new route on Thursday at the opening ceremony.

Compared with the traditional route via the Yangtze River and Shanghai, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor has turned out to be a faster path that connects China's inland western region with major ports in the south, which will save about 20 days.

It will link 160 ports in 71 countries and regions worldwide, as part of China's Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The new trade route is a network of railways, roads and air freight, with Chongqing serving as logistics hub.

In the south, it runs from western China to Qinzhou port in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, which connects to Southeast Asia via the sea. In the north, it links the China-Europe freight trains launched from many western Chinese cities before they head to Central Asia and Europe.

The new route will also help relieve heavy traffic on the Yangtze. Shipping volume through the locks at Three Gorges Dam was originally expected to reach a capacity of 100 million metric tons per year in 2030. However, the limit was reached in 2011, resulting in long wait times.

The corridor was jointly built by western Chinese provinces and countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations under the framework of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity, which the two sides signed in 2016.

The initiative is expected to serve as a base for opening up inland Chongqing and better cooperation between China and Singapore.

In September 2017, the first train loaded with auto parts and fiberglass products left Chongqing's Tuanjiecun Railway Station, marking the opening of the new trade route.

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