China’s multi-billion dollar One Belt, One Road plan is a strategy launched in 2013 and focus on infrastructure and trade network connecting Asia with Africa and Europe along old Silk Route trading routes in an effort to boost trade and economic growth.
With that in mind China launched its first freight train to London, which will travel from Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China to Barking, London, taking 18 days to travel over 12,000 kilometres.
The route runs through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, before arriving in London. The UK is the eighth country to be added to the China-Europe service, and London is the 15th city.
China estimates that it will gain heavily from opening the ancient trade routes which will, in turn, boost regional cooperation and better relations between countries that lie along the Silk Route.