GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON #171
Thomas Hale of the FT reports that longer shipping transit times + container shortages have led to a significant increase in Chinese land exports through Russia and Central Asia. In 2020 the number of train journeys from China to Europe rose by 50%.
In 2020 China overtook the US to become the EU’s largest trading partner with total imports from China rising to $454bn.
Rail freight remains a small fraction of total volumes but the recent jump inland transport comes as severe disruptions to container ships are occurring – one of which continues to block the Suez Canal after running aground.
Rail freight has also spurred the development of the Belt + Road Initiative as Provinces in China opt for rail over high seas transport.
This is evidence of China’s increasing all-around resourcefulness in a week which has witnessed two important developments – Yang Jiechi going head to head with Blinken + coming out on top, + a powerful Chinese consumer backlash against Western manufacturers withdrawing from Xinjiang cotton products. All pointing in the same direction – the world is changing.