Earlier this month, a Chinese freight train hauling dozens of containers carrying baby products, vitamins and other pharmaceuticals, left Britain’s Stanford-Le-Hope bound for China.
The 12,000 kilometre journey takes three weeks, half the time needed to make the same trip by sea.
It was Britain’s first ever trans-continental train shipment destined to far eastern markets. The train first arrived in the UK from China in January 2017.
The shipment makes London the 15th European city with a direct rail link to China. Xubin Feng, chairman of Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment Co., which manages the freight train service, said London will be a regular freight destination moving forward.
The train, he said at the time, is “just the start of a regular direct service between the UK and China”. Feng said: “We have great faith in the UK as an export nation and rail provides an excellent alternative for moving large volumes of goods over long distances faster.”
China has aggressively lobbied potential international trading partners as the country attempts to shore up its long-term economy and potentially insulate itself against protectionist US trade policies.
The country is also keen to appear a more global player as uncertainty reigns as to the role the United States will play under US President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, April 19, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called on the European Union to join China in promoting a “positive signal” in favour of free trade and globalisation.
He told Federica Mogherini, the EU’s top diplomat on foreign affairs, the two should work closer together as “two great forces in the world” to improve the “international governance system”.
The EU is hoping to agree with Beijing on a bilateral investment treaty to facilitate European companies doing business in China.
But Brussels remains cautious. The European Council on Foreign Relations said in 2015 China’s project could fail
Blogs | August 23,2016