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Belt and Road

Pandemic turns 'Iron Silk Road' into China-Europe trade artery

China Railway Express sees a cargoboom, but future cloudy as tensions rise

A freight train bound for Duisburg, Germany, departs from Wuhan, China. More companies are looking to use the China Express Railway to ship goods from China to Europe.   © Reuters

TOKYO/CHONGQING, China -- What began as a 19th century mode of transportation to deliver 21st products -- delivering laptops built in China to European markets on trains -- has evolved into a vital cargo link between the two continents.

And the major disruptions to maritime and air logistics chains due to the coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated the importance of China Railway Express as a cheaper and quicker alternative to ship everything from cars to household goods from China to Europe.

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