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Sino-European links get big fillip

Belt & Road

Economic Forum notes that the Belt and Road Initiative is crucial to boost cultural, trade ties.

China DailyUpdated: October 11, 2018

Workers examine goods at a traffic hub in Zhengzhou, Henan province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Liu Hong, deputy director of the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office in Zhengzhou, Henan province, also introduced an example of BRI cooperation to the forum.

As the largest traffic hub in Central China, Zhengzhou is planning to start non-stop flights to European countries, "providing our citizens opportunities to taste delicious food and wine in Europe after a faster journey", said Liu, who called the direct air route a "new silk road in the air".

With its starting point in Zhengzhou, 299 freight trains traveled along the China-Europe line in the first six months of the year, carrying goods to 24 countries in the European Union and Central Asia, according to Liu.

The route from Zhengzhou is one of the busiest rail lines between China and Europe, as an important link among economies in the continents along the Belt and Road routes, strengthening trade links, according to experts.

With special tax incentive policies, Zhengzhou is a pilot zone promoting the nation's cross-border e-commerce development. E-commerce giants including Alibaba and JD, as well as global logistics companies such as UPS and DHL, have established goods distribution centers in the city.

"Now people living in European countries can receive deliveries from Zhengzhou with the tap of a smartphone button. We call it the online silk road," Liu said.

Officials from local governments in China agreed that besides capital-incentive infrastructure investments, there are various ways to strengthen the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation between China and the CEE, and across the whole of Europe.

"The key is to understand the real needs of both sides, based on in-depth communication," said Yun Linqiong, Qingshuihe county Party secretary in Inner Mongolia.

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