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One Belt, One Road

Since assuming office, Chairman Xi Jinping has actively promoted his “One Belt, One Road” Initiative which aims to develop infrastructure and trade along the routes of the ancient silk road to improve connections between Asia, Europe and Africa. “One Belt” refers to the development of an economic belt along the land silk road through central Asia, while “One Road” refers to the maritime silk road via Sri Lanka.

The EU is China’s biggest trading partner and improved rail links are facilitating trade between Europe and China’s inland industrial hubs which are far removed from coastal seaports. An interesting example is Chongqing-based carmaker, Changan Auto, which designs its vehicles in Turin, Italy, manufactures in Chongqing and then rails its finished vehicles to Europe for distribution.