China's overland Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road Thread


ahojunk

Senior Member
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(CRI Online) 09:52, July 31, 2016

File photo shows the site of an ongoing construction project in an oil and gas treatment plant in Kazakhstan. [Photo: cnpc.com.cn]

The first train carrying liquefied natural gas from Kazakhstan to China has arrived at the border crossing at Xinjiang.

It's arrival is being hailed as the next step in greater energy transport connections between China and central Asian countries.

The new rail link for Liquified Natural Gas is expected to help shore-up LNG resources, which have been coming up short in China due to growing demand and the limited capasity at the sea ports to transfer LNG onshore.

Wang Xinchun, director of the Alashankou Free Trade Zone's economic development bureau in Xinjiang, says their port of entry is going to significantly increase energy transport options for China.

"There will be one train each week, which will transport 300-thousand tons year. In the future, we expect to be able to increase the annual LNG imports to 800-thouisand tons or more according to market demand and the needs of domestic companies."

The border crossing at Alashankou in Xinjiang has seen over 8.7 million tons of goods worth over 3.5-billion US dollars pass through so far this year.
 

ahojunk

Senior Member
At last count, there are about 40 freight train routes between China and Europe.

--------
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Source: Xinhua | September 3, 2016, Saturday |

020160903143853.jpg

A cargo train left Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, for Hamburg in Germany Friday night, local authorities said Saturday.

The train left Xi'an at 8:50 p.m. Friday and will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland before reaching Hamburg, Xi'an international port authority said in a press release.

It said the journey will last 13 days.

The train carries machinery, home appliances, garments and electronic equipment, which will be forwarded from Hamburg to other European cities.

It is the second China-Europe freight train from Xi'an. The first left for Warsaw on Aug. 18.

The train will promote the further opening of Shaanxi Province, and help shape a new international trade route within the framework of China's Belt and Road Initiative, said Han Song, a senior official with Xi'an municipal committee of the Communist Party of China.

"In the future, there'll be an outbound train every week and an inbound train once a month," said Han.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Instead of regime change and war, China is busy with building infrastructure, rail line to improve trade and in turn improve people lives hopefully will result in more peaceful world
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China lays new brick in Silk Road with first Afghan rail freight
Eltaf Najafizada, (c) 2016, Bloomberg(c) 2016, Bloomberg
For centuries, Chinese products have wended their way thousands of kilometers across mountains and deserts to the heart of central Asia, Afghanistan. Now, for the first time, the trade is carried by rail.

With the first train last week pulling in to Hairatan, northern Afghanistan, China marked another advance in President Xi Jinping's Silk Road project to deepen his nation's influence along old trade routes. For Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the new link also marks a small step toward a dream of turning his landlocked country into a transit hub of Asia.

Already the top investor in the war-torn country to its west, China is aiming to boost its commercial standing, as the no. 5 trading partner currently. Deepening those ties would help Afghanistan pare back the influence of Pakistan, the southern neighbor with which ties have sometimes been strained over outbreaks of violence and closures in border crossings.

"It's an unprecedented, vital project for the Afghan economy," said Azarakhsh Hafizi, the head of the international relations committee at Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries in the capital, Kabul. "That will greatly reduce Chinese imported commodities' prices and unprecedentedly improve our trade with China, now standing at tens of millions of dollars."

The train, carrying $4 million worth of commercial goods such as fabric, clothes and construction material, took just two weeks to arrive from the east coast of China, a fraction of the three-to-six months the road transit takes via Pakistan to the eastern border crossing into Afghanistan. It's a new link in Xi's "one belt, one road" project deepening the lattice of transport links across Eurasia, an initiative that's coming together in fits and starts, with advances in places like Bangladesh, and setbacks in locations including Thailand.

"Without Afghan connectivity, there is no way to connect China with rest of world," said Yao Jing, Chinese ambassador in Afghanistan, in a speech marking the first freight train's arrival on Sept. 7. "As a neighbor, China attaches greater importance to the development and peace process in Afghanistan."

China has for years had grand investment plans for Afghanistan's resource riches, which the Afghanistan Geological Survey estimates are as much as $3 trillion. While the Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd. received a license in 2007 to mine the biggest Afghan copper deposit, and China National Petroleum Corp. won a contract in 2011 to drill for oil, development of the resources is still some ways off, thanks in part to the nation's patchy infrastructure.

"The direct railway can be the best route for them to transfer copper to China," Hafizi said.

Further economic development is being stymied by increasing terrorist attacks by the Taliban, Islamic State and other insurgents against Kabul's central government, which has often exercised little control over much of the country. Abduction is another impediment as at least 35 traders and businessmen were kidnapped in July, according to the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce.

"China still confronts two major problems," said Dhruva Jaishankar, foreign policy fellow with Brookings Institution India Center. "First is that connectivity is still subject to a stabilization of the security situation in Afghanistan. The second is that many projects, including this one, will face questions of commercial viability."

The new transport corridor to China may help avoid these ongoing security threats, officials say. "Pakistan won't any longer be our only option for transit to have our goods imported from China," said Javid Faisal, a Afghanistan government spokesman.

A spokesman at the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul, Akhtar Muneer, declined to comment on the opening of the China-Afghanistan rail corridor or its affect on trade with his nation, currently the Afghans' top trading partner.

Afghanistan's $600 million export industry -- including shipments of saffron, marble, lapis lazuli and high-quality Kurk wool -- will see "a considerable" increase following the opening of the rail route, said Khan Jan Alokozay, a deputy chairman of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce.

Reducing import costs could help hold down inflation as Afghanistan takes from abroad some 90 percent of its commercial products such as food, fabric, electronics, construction materials, oil and gas.

Mohammad Rafi Amiri, the general director of Harirod Logistical Co. in Afghanistan, the company that imported the goods from China to Afghanistan, said transporting directly from China could "reduce prices by 30 percent".


The freight trains are expected to carry 45 containers of goods twice a month from the Chinese city of Haimen to Hairatan, according to Musafer Quqandi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. Once inside Afghanistan the goods will be transported to Mazar-e-Sharif city, the country's second biggest commercial center, through an extended 75 km railway built in 2010 with Asian Development Bank funding.

"The investments boost China's position as Afghanistan's biggest foreign investor," said Sayed Masood, an economics professor at Kabul University, in a phone interview. "The country now seeks to be Afghanistan's biggest trading partner."



---
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Finally it is done on time ! Even under the most difficult environment. This is testament to china fortitude and steadfastness. Come to think of it this is not the first time back in 60's China built Tanzania railways But it fell to disuse because lack of maintenance. This time they do it better by running it by themselves for the first 5 years allowing time for the native to catch up.
But the washington post as usual can't help themselves to mix in politic when it is about economic assistance providing connectivity to landlocked and poor country. This is the job that should be done by Europe since they are the African colonist and has moral responsibility
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Ethiopia has a lot riding on its new, Chinese-built railroad to the sea



A worker walks past a train at the Adama train station of Oromia region during a media guided tour of the Ethio-Djibouti Railways route in Adama, central Ethiopia, September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri (Tiksa Negeri/Reuters)
By Paul Schemm October 3 at 8:17 AM
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The sleek, white train glides through the hilly Ethiopian countryside, the first to travel this route in nearly a decade.

The contrast is stark as the new, Chinese-made electric train passes horse-drawn carriages, oxen hauling plows and crowds of curious village children. But soon it crosses over a gleaming six-lane expressway and snakes past a row of newly erected wind turbines — all Chinese-built and, like the train, part of Ethiopia’s ongoing effort to remake itself.

The standard-gauge rail line, which will be officially inaugurated this week, stretches 470 miles from the capital, Addis Ababa, to the port of Djibouti, which handles 90 percent of the landlocked country’s trade and is its main window to the outside world. Seventy percent of the $3.4 billion project is financed by China’s Export-Import Bank, and it is one of the biggest of the mega-projects that Ethiopia says will transform its largely agricultural economy — once known for little more than famine and coffee — into East Africa’s manufacturing hub.

“Our economy is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa and the world, so at the end of the day, when the train is connected to the port and transporting that much freight, . . . it will add value,” said Mekonnen Getachew, the railway’s project manager, speaking after a recent trial run for journalists .

Between 2005 and 2015, Ethiopia’s economy grew at an average rate of 10 percent a year, and the country took pride in its reputation as Africa’s latest success story. But that is starting to unravel, with the
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halving the growth rate and widespread social unrest erupting in two of the country’s most populous regions.


A finish-line protest at this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by an Ethiopian marathon runner alerted the world to the country’s internal problems.

[
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]


The drought’s effect has been so dire that the new railroad was pressed into service in November, before construction was even completed, to get emergency imports of wheat closer to famine-stricken areas.

Without the train, Ethiopia’s imports and exports must travel between Djibouti and Addis Ababa on a winding, pitted road plied by more than 1,500 trucks daily, a trip that takes two days. When the railroad is fully operational, travel time for freight will be cut to just 12 hours — and 10 hours for the faster passenger trains.

The new line actually replaces a narrow-gauge railroad built by France starting in 1894, when it controlled Djibouti. The French left behind elegant, arcaded train stations, inscribed “Chemin de Fer Djibouto-Ethiopien,” in the heart of Addis Ababa and in the eastern city of Dire Dawa, but the line was largely defunct by the mid-2000s, a victim of war and neglect.

The century-old tracks can still be seen in places from the new train, but the Chinese elected to build all new stations. The palatial multistory buildings stand well outside cities and towns, suggesting that the new line will be used more for freight than for passengers.

The rail link to Djibouti will be just the beginning, the government says. Plans have been made for 1,500 more miles of track to criss-cross the country, including to its borders with Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan — all part of an African Union goal of once more uniting the continent by rail.

Ethiopia is a lot closer to achieving its part of this goal than most African countries, largely because of the massive support and financing from China.

According to the
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, Beijing has poured more than $20.6 billion into Ethiopia since 2005, much of it in low-interest loans to build infrastructure, such as roads, rail lines and telecommunication.

On the train, with its clean, blond-wood interiors, loudspeakers announce the stations in three languages: Amharic, English and Chinese. All the attendants are Chinese.

For its first five years, the new railway will be managed by a Chinese company to allow time to train enough Ethiopians to take over running it.

The train line is a key part of the government’s strategy to industrialize the country by luring foreign investment — and the 70-mile trip last weekend between Addis Ababa and Adama attests to the plan’s success so far. From the window, the view includes not just traditional farms but also greenhouses marking the country’s burgeoning commercial flower industry and distant plumes of smoke from new factories.

Chinese cement and shoe companies, Indian painting and textile firms, and numerous Turkish enterprises have set up shop here in recent years, attracted by Ethiopia’s cheap labor and electricity — and eventually, the government hopes, by its superior infrastructure.


Foreign direct investment has grown from just $108 million in 2009 to an estimated $2 billion in 2016.

A
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by the World Bank last year, though, warned that Ethiopia still had far to go in its quest to move labor from agriculture to industrial jobs. About 80 percent of the jobs in the country are still in farming. Meanwhile, unemployment is at 17 percent nationally and at 24 percent in the capital.

The economy remains closed and state-controlled, and the small and medium enterprises that would probably produce the most jobs are having trouble getting financing. Even foreign firms, which are given preferential treatment, complain about bureaucracy, red tape and the difficulty of repatriating profits and acquiring hard currency.

The new factories are also being built on confiscated farm land, which helped spark the protests in the Oromo region that began in November and later spread north to the Amhara region. International rights groups estimate that some 500 people have been killed in the repression that ensued.

Just on Sunday, police fired tear gas at a political protest taking place at an Oromo cultural festival in Bishoftu, the next station on the train line after Addis Ababa, and provoked a stampede that killed 52 according to the government — with the opposition saying twice as many died.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, assistant secretary of state for african affairs, last week
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the government response as an “intense and somewhat harsh crackdown.”

“We think it could get worse if it’s not addressed — sooner rather than later,” she told Voice of America.

The unrest poses a threat to Ethiopia’s vision of foreign-driven industrialization.

On Aug. 29, in the Amhara region, mobs attacked at least seven flower farms belonging to Israeli, Italian, Indian and Belgian companies. In a statement on its website, the Dutch-owned Esmeralda Farms said its entire $11.2 million investment, including machinery and greenhouses, was destroyed.

In the first-person statement, the unnamed author laments how Ethiopia was once a safe country.

“Last year I traveled 24 times to Ethiopia to start up the farm,” the statement said. “It was one of the most peaceful countries in Africa.”
 
Last edited:

delft

Brigadier
My Dutch newspaper carried an article last Saturday about rail transport between China and Europe at the instance of the start of the Chengdu-Tilburg-Rotterdam Express. It will be once a week, but soon five times a week. The article reminds us that in 2011 came the first eleven trains from China to Europe. Last year the total for both directions was 845. This year the total is expected to be 6000 for the whole of Europe. Such a heavy traffic will make transport to and from the countries through which the steel silk road passes also much more convenient and cheaper.
 

Equation

Banned Idiot
Finally it is done on time ! Even under the most difficult environment. This is testament to china fortitude and steadfastness. Come to think of it this is not the first time back in 60's China built Tanzania railways But it fell to disuse because lack of maintenance. This time they do it better by running it by themselves for the first 5 years allowing time for the native to catch up.
But the washington post as usual can't help themselves to mix in politic when it is about economic assistance providing connectivity to landlocked and poor country. This is the job that should be done by Europe since they are the African colonist and has moral responsibility
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Ethiopia has a lot riding on its new, Chinese-built railroad to the sea



A worker walks past a train at the Adama train station of Oromia region during a media guided tour of the Ethio-Djibouti Railways route in Adama, central Ethiopia, September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri (Tiksa Negeri/Reuters)
By Paul Schemm October 3 at 8:17 AM
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The sleek, white train glides through the hilly Ethiopian countryside, the first to travel this route in nearly a decade.

The contrast is stark as the new, Chinese-made electric train passes horse-drawn carriages, oxen hauling plows and crowds of curious village children. But soon it crosses over a gleaming six-lane expressway and snakes past a row of newly erected wind turbines — all Chinese-built and, like the train, part of Ethiopia’s ongoing effort to remake itself.

The standard-gauge rail line, which will be officially inaugurated this week, stretches 470 miles from the capital, Addis Ababa, to the port of Djibouti, which handles 90 percent of the landlocked country’s trade and is its main window to the outside world. Seventy percent of the $3.4 billion project is financed by China’s Export-Import Bank, and it is one of the biggest of the mega-projects that Ethiopia says will transform its largely agricultural economy — once known for little more than famine and coffee — into East Africa’s manufacturing hub.

“Our economy is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa and the world, so at the end of the day, when the train is connected to the port and transporting that much freight, . . . it will add value,” said Mekonnen Getachew, the railway’s project manager, speaking after a recent trial run for journalists .

Between 2005 and 2015, Ethiopia’s economy grew at an average rate of 10 percent a year, and the country took pride in its reputation as Africa’s latest success story. But that is starting to unravel, with the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
halving the growth rate and widespread social unrest erupting in two of the country’s most populous regions.


A finish-line protest at this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by an Ethiopian marathon runner alerted the world to the country’s internal problems.

[
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
]


The drought’s effect has been so dire that the new railroad was pressed into service in November, before construction was even completed, to get emergency imports of wheat closer to famine-stricken areas.

Without the train, Ethiopia’s imports and exports must travel between Djibouti and Addis Ababa on a winding, pitted road plied by more than 1,500 trucks daily, a trip that takes two days. When the railroad is fully operational, travel time for freight will be cut to just 12 hours — and 10 hours for the faster passenger trains.

The new line actually replaces a narrow-gauge railroad built by France starting in 1894, when it controlled Djibouti. The French left behind elegant, arcaded train stations, inscribed “Chemin de Fer Djibouto-Ethiopien,” in the heart of Addis Ababa and in the eastern city of Dire Dawa, but the line was largely defunct by the mid-2000s, a victim of war and neglect.

The century-old tracks can still be seen in places from the new train, but the Chinese elected to build all new stations. The palatial multistory buildings stand well outside cities and towns, suggesting that the new line will be used more for freight than for passengers.

The rail link to Djibouti will be just the beginning, the government says. Plans have been made for 1,500 more miles of track to criss-cross the country, including to its borders with Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan — all part of an African Union goal of once more uniting the continent by rail.

Ethiopia is a lot closer to achieving its part of this goal than most African countries, largely because of the massive support and financing from China.

According to the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, Beijing has poured more than $20.6 billion into Ethiopia since 2005, much of it in low-interest loans to build infrastructure, such as roads, rail lines and telecommunication.

On the train, with its clean, blond-wood interiors, loudspeakers announce the stations in three languages: Amharic, English and Chinese. All the attendants are Chinese.

For its first five years, the new railway will be managed by a Chinese company to allow time to train enough Ethiopians to take over running it.

The train line is a key part of the government’s strategy to industrialize the country by luring foreign investment — and the 70-mile trip last weekend between Addis Ababa and Adama attests to the plan’s success so far. From the window, the view includes not just traditional farms but also greenhouses marking the country’s burgeoning commercial flower industry and distant plumes of smoke from new factories.

Chinese cement and shoe companies, Indian painting and textile firms, and numerous Turkish enterprises have set up shop here in recent years, attracted by Ethiopia’s cheap labor and electricity — and eventually, the government hopes, by its superior infrastructure.


Foreign direct investment has grown from just $108 million in 2009 to an estimated $2 billion in 2016.

A
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
by the World Bank last year, though, warned that Ethiopia still had far to go in its quest to move labor from agriculture to industrial jobs. About 80 percent of the jobs in the country are still in farming. Meanwhile, unemployment is at 17 percent nationally and at 24 percent in the capital.

The economy remains closed and state-controlled, and the small and medium enterprises that would probably produce the most jobs are having trouble getting financing. Even foreign firms, which are given preferential treatment, complain about bureaucracy, red tape and the difficulty of repatriating profits and acquiring hard currency.

The new factories are also being built on confiscated farm land, which helped spark the protests in the Oromo region that began in November and later spread north to the Amhara region. International rights groups estimate that some 500 people have been killed in the repression that ensued.

Just on Sunday, police fired tear gas at a political protest taking place at an Oromo cultural festival in Bishoftu, the next station on the train line after Addis Ababa, and provoked a stampede that killed 52 according to the government — with the opposition saying twice as many died.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, assistant secretary of state for african affairs, last week
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
the government response as an “intense and somewhat harsh crackdown.”

“We think it could get worse if it’s not addressed — sooner rather than later,” she told Voice of America.

The unrest poses a threat to Ethiopia’s vision of foreign-driven industrialization.

On Aug. 29, in the Amhara region, mobs attacked at least seven flower farms belonging to Israeli, Italian, Indian and Belgian companies. In a statement on its website, the Dutch-owned Esmeralda Farms said its entire $11.2 million investment, including machinery and greenhouses, was destroyed.

In the first-person statement, the unnamed author laments how Ethiopia was once a safe country.

“Last year I traveled 24 times to Ethiopia to start up the farm,” the statement said. “It was one of the most peaceful countries in Africa.”
If more rails are built to connect Ethiopia to the rest of Western African countries, than goods and freights can be sent by land without having ships going around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa to save fuel cost and money.
 

B.I.B.

Senior Member
At last count, there are about 40 freight train routes between China and Europe.

--------
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Source: Xinhua | September 3, 2016, Saturday |

View attachment 31677

A cargo train left Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, for Hamburg in Germany Friday night, local authorities said Saturday.

The train left Xi'an at 8:50 p.m. Friday and will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland before reaching Hamburg, Xi'an international port authority said in a press release.

It said the journey will last 13 days.

The train carries machinery, home appliances, garments and electronic equipment, which will be forwarded from Hamburg to other European cities.

It is the second China-Europe freight train from Xi'an. The first left for Warsaw on Aug. 18.

The train will promote the further opening of Shaanxi Province, and help shape a new international trade route within the framework of China's Belt and Road Initiative, said Han Song, a senior official with Xi'an municipal committee of the Communist Party of China.

"In the future, there'll be an outbound train every week and an inbound train once a month," said Han.
They should entertain the idea of a passenger service for train enthusiasts.A long train trip lasting 13 days and crossing several borders certainly appeals to me.For me its the actual trip rather than the end destination that is my holiday.
 

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