Trucks depart Xinjiang for Russia on trial of new highway
Nine trucks set out on the fourth Asian Highway on Friday, the first commercial vehicles to travel on the new route, which is expected to expand trade between China and its northern neighbours
The trucks, dispatched by China, Russia and Mongolia, departed Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and are scheduled to reach Novosibirsk in Siberia, Russia, next Thursday. The historic journey is a trial operation ahead of the official opening of the new highway.
Extending from Urumqi to Novosibirsk and running through western Mongolia, the 2,253-kilometer route has opened up a new path for goods from the Asian market to enter Russia and paved the way for the development of Eurasian road transport, said Vladimir Molchanov, director of the Russian Motor Transport Agency, at the launch ceremony.
Geographically close to each other, the three countries are important players in Northeast Asia and the route is the second such highway connecting them.
"Under the guidance of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Russia's Eurasian Economic Union and Mongolia's Prairie Road vision, this route can be considered as a concrete measure to build the China-Mongolian-Russia Economic Corridor," said Xuan Dengdian, a Ministry of Transport senior official.
Xinjiang has pioneered developing cross-border transport with China's neighbouring countries for a more convenient and smooth international trading environment, and the region has opened 118 routes with five of its eight neighbours.
Li Menghan and Lu Rui
Asia News Network