On the 2nd of January the first 200 container train departed from west railway station of Yiwu to start its 12,000Km 16 day journey the route running through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, before arriving in London.
The Rail link will allow for European freight forwarders and manufactures to deliver their goods between Europe and China for a cheaper price then using air transport and half the time as sea transport.
The China – UK Rail line is a part of China’s ‘New Silk road’ China is looking to connect the east of China to the west of Europe into one market. This covers 60 countries, 60% of GDP and 60% of the population in the world. This Market has the potential to generate $2.2 trillion in trade annually in 10 years.
The new rail link couldn’t come at a better time for Britain especially with Brexit and Theresa May announcing that the UK cannot expect to hold onto the bits of the EU which includes the single market. However, the question has to be asked will China take advantage of the UK’s vulnerability? The ‘New silk road’ will help strengthen China’s economic and political influence in Europe.