29 April, Beijing
The first freight train linking China directly to the UK arrived in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu Saturday after a 12,000-kilometre trip, becoming the world’s second-longest rail route.
The journey is the latest effort in China’s drive to strengthen trade links with western Europe along a “Silk Road” route.
The world’s top trading nation launched the “One Belt, One Road” strategy in 2013, and has since poured millions into constructing vast infrastructure links.
The new route is longer than Russia’s famous Trans- Siberian railway, but about 1,000 kilometres shorter than the record-holding China-Madrid link, which opened in 2014.
London is the 15th city to be linked to a new freight network offered by the state-run China Railway Corporation.