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China Opens Xinjiang-Moscow Freight Train Link

China aims to send at least three trains per week to Russia, transporting cargo and goods worth more than $8.1 billion a year.

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider


China has launched a new cargo train service connecting the autonomous Xinjiang region in the west of the country with the Russian capital Moscow, the Xinhua news agency reported.

According to Chinese authorities quoted by Xinhua, the new cargo train service to Moscow will significantly contribute to the region's economic development. Xinjiang is seen by China as a “core area” in its Silk Road economic belt, and since March 2014 has established new train cargo services to Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkey, as well as the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia.

Xinhua reports that by late 2015, “more than three” cargo trains will be delivering goods to destinations in Russia and Central Asia every week. These trains will deliver cargo worth $8.1 billion a year, Chinese officials said.

The move is just the latest in a series of economic partnerships between China and Russia, which have fostered ever-closer ties since Russia fell out with Western nations over the situation in Ukraine. Last March saw the launch of the first freight train service linking a Chinese province to Russia, when a cargo train set off from Heilongjiang Province in the northeast to central Russia.

China's Silk Road Economic Belt initiative was announced by its President Xi Jinping in September 2013 during a visit to Kazakhstan. The plan envisages greater cooperation and increased trade between the countries situated on the historical Silk Road trade route that connected China with Central and West Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

China eventually wants to see the integration of the region into a cohesive economic trade area, and has been financing projects aimed at boosting infrastructure and increasing cultural exchange.

In February of 2014, President Xi Jinping reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the construction of high speed railroads linking China with Russia.

Image credit: Music4Life via pixabay.com


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