Work on three railways in Southwest China’s Yunnan province, which will serve the Belt and Road Initiative, began in 2016 as the province builds logistics channels to Southeast Asia.
Liu Baisheng, director of the Kunming Railway Bureau in Yunnan and a deputy to the National People’s Congress, said the railways－the Yuxi-Mohan Railway, Dali-Lincang Railway and Dali-Ruili Railway－connect with Southeast Asian countries.
The three are among 13 railways under construction in the province this year－in total more than 2,385 kilometers at a cost of more than 244 billion yuan ($35.3 billion).
To integrate Yunnan into the initiative, the Kunming Railway Bureau also ran freight trains to other Asian countries and Europe in 2016, promoting sales of Yunnan’s agricultural products overseas and bringing products back from Europe, he said.
He said the province will try to get support from local governments to build three cross-border logistics channels, including one to Europe and Central Asia, one to Vietnam and Southeast Asia and one to ports in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Guangdong province.
He also said a united transportation system of railways and highways has been established in western Yunnan to connect the provincial capital Kunming, Dali city and border ports.
This year, the Yunnan Railway Bureau will build 42 stations in industrial and logistic parks that can accept containers, he said.
Thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative, freight volume through border ports in Yunnan has been on the rise. More than 80,000 metric tons of cargo were transported via the China-Vietnam meter-gage railway so far this year, the highest for the same period in 10 years, he told People’s Daily.
“Neighboring Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, Yunnan has always been an important Chinese ‘port’ for other countries. With a good location, the province has advantages integrating itself into the Belt and Road Initiative, and opening itself up is the means to make use of the advantages,” he said.