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New Railway to Connect Afghanistan with China “One Road One Belt” PDF Print E-mail
By: Feroz Bashari, Chief Media Analyst   
Sunday, 28 August 2016 14:46

Afghanistan’s Hairatan Port will soon host a Chinese cargo train, the first train carrying freight containers from China to Afghanistan. 
According to media reports, the first train carrying cargo containers from China to Afghanistan left the eastern Chinese city of Nantong on Thursday August 25, 2016.
The train will leave China through the Alataw Pass in Xinjiang.  It will then pass through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan before arriving Hairatan Port. 
There are two trains scheduled for each month which will carry cargo from China to Afghanistan and vise versa.  Reportedly, the first cargo train carrying 84 containers will arrive in Hairatan port in 15 days.
The new railway route is part of a recent scheme designed by People’s Republic of China called “One Road One Belt” aiming to link nations in the region. 

The opening of this railway happened after Afghanistan and China vowed to boost businesses between the two countries.  This new railway will serve as a direct route to transport commercial goods between the two nations. 

In addition, this railway will be a new opportunity to restore direct business between China and Afghanistan which will decrease Afghanistan’s dependency on Pakistan. 

Afghan economic experts believe that major steps have been taken by National Unity Government to provide facilities for Afghan businesses to improve in the region.  The opening of Chabahar Port is a strong example of this. 

Furthermore, this new railway between the two countries will have positive impact on trade between China and Afghanistan.  Afghan businessmen, in less time and less money, will be able to carry their commercial goods from China to Afghanistan and from Afghanistan to China.  Previously, it took almost two months to get commercial goods from China to Afghanistan, while it only takes a couple of weeks now. 

This is a great improvement in regard to strengthening economic ties with countries of the region and providing facilities for business people in Afghanistan.  This is the first time Afghanistan gets its cargo through a railway linked to Hairatan Port in a shorter period of time. 

It is worth mentioning that the relationships between People’s Republic of China and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan have strengthened in many aspects in particular in trade since the establishment of National Unity Government.  

It is believed that the new railway will boost bilateral trade between China and Afghanistan which will also strengthen cultural ties between the two friend countries.