A Mutually Beneficial Partnership

Compared to other methods of transportation, the cross-continental train route provides a speedy and cost-effective alternative.

“The fast train route between Yiwu and London takes 30 days less than maritime transportation, while only costing a fifth of the price of air transportation," says Fang Xudong, Vice General Manager of Tianmeng Industrial Investment. This route is especially crucial to the supply chain of high-value products that need to be transported as quickly as possible, such as electronics, fashion items, car parts, heavy machinery, premium agricultural goods, and fresh meat.

Of course, the “One Belt One Road” initiative is more ambitious than merely laying down railroad tracks for freight transport. Aiming to create a platform for economic and political coordination between nations, China’s initiative is opening international trade possibilities through the construction of railways, roads, ports, and other vital infrastructure.

In fact, East Wind’s epic transcontinental journey is merely a drop in the puddle of future China-UK development projects. In the works is a $2.2 billion Asian-focused financial district, the Hinkley Point nuclear plant, and a $5 billion Chinese enterprise investment in London property. As rail technology improves and as other countries bolster their rail infrastructure, East-West railways may soon become a primary link between the continents.

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