A train traveling all the way from Yiwu on China's east coast arrived in London's Barking station on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first direct freight train to link the UK and China, crossing the deserts, fields and mountains of Eurasia and ducking under the English channel on its epic 18-day, 12,451 km journey.
Diplomats, transport executives and members of the international media assembled to watch the China-Europe Block Train travel the last few hundred meters of the new Yiwu-London line and pull into Barking's cargo terminal on schedule at 1 pm.
"This is the latest practical outcome of China-UK cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative," said Zhu Qin, a minister from the Chinese embassy in the UK. "Since its first journey in 2011, China Railway Express has reached many destinations in Europe and Asia. It has become a tangible link between China and Europe, a symbol of China-Europe cooperation. It has contributed greatly to connectivity in the Eurasian continent, and the economic development of the wider region."