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For more on the new Eurasian land bridge, we are joined by reporter Li Kefu at the studio.
Q1: Can you give us more background on the so-called new Eurasian land bridge?
Answer: The new Eurasian land bridge, also called the Second Eurasian land bridge, is a new rail line running through China and Europe. It starts in the coastal city of Lianyungang in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, crosses almost 12 thousand kilometers through Kazakhstan and Russia, and ends in Rotterdam in The Netherlands. The old land bridge, which is almost a hundred years old now, starts at the Russian coast in Vladivostok and ends in Rotterdam after crossing Siberia, so the new route covers different ground, including China and Kazakhstan.
Q2: The new Eurasian land bridge connects Europe and China through Kazakhstan. Can you tell us more about these two neighboring economies?
Answer: Kazakhstan is the largest inland country in the world. As Chinese rail and highways have expanded west, trade between Kazakhstan and China has been booming. From January to October this year, goods passing through the Khorgos port between the two nations reached 880,000 tons - that’s over 250% growth compared with the same period last year. And trade between China and Kazakhstan is expected to grow 3 to 5 fold over the next 4 years. As of November 2007, however, only about 1% of the goods shipped from Asia to Europe were delivered by overland routes. So there is a lot of potential in the new link.