International Shipping News 23/02/2015
The first ever direct China-Spain freight train – which started its
journey from Yiwu, a major trading hub south of Shanghai – travelled an
epic 13,000 kilometers in 21 days (10 days faster than the conventional
ocean freight), reaching Madrid in December 2014. The inauguration of a
direct train link between Yiwu and Madrid should be seen as part of
China’s ambitious foreign policy initiative to revive the ancient Silk
The New Silk Road initiative consists of a network of both land and
sea routes. The land route, the “Silk Road Economic Belt,” is planned to
traverse Eurasia using three sub routes (north, middle and south).
The sea route, the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” will extend
from eastern China to Southeast Asia, East Africa, the Middle East and
Europe. In order to improve the infrastructure along these Silk Road
routes, China will not only contribute $40 billion to set up a Silk Road
Fund, but also provide up to 50 percent of the total capital ($100
billion) to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).