From VOA learning English, this is Economics Report.
The longest railway in the world is now open. In December, a train carrying products from China arrived in Spain’s capital, Madrid. The railway is one of the most recent transportation projects that China has financed in Europe. Some call the railway the “21st Century Silk Road.”
China is paying to improve roads, bridges and railroads to increase trade between East Asia and Europe. The European Union is China’s biggest trading partner, and Europe is welcoming the money China is spending to improve infrastructure. The train travelled 13,000 kilometers. It began in Yiwu, a Chinese city in the coastal province of Zhejiang in November. Three weeks later it arrived in Madrid. That is about half the time it takes for a ship to make the trip. The train is to return to China with Spanish wine and food in February.
Jonathan Fenby wrote the book “Will China Dominate the 21st Century?” He says China has just begun its efforts to improve trade routes. Trains now travel between Germany and China five times a week carrying products such as cars and computers. China is also investing a lot of money to improve bridges and roads in Europe.
Another plan includes building a high-speed rail link between Belgrade and Budapest at a cost of $ 1.9 billion. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says the money his country is spending shows China is taking a new approach, or way, to dealing with other countries. China has promised to spend $40 billion to improve infrastructure. Observers say European countries have lessened their criticisms of China’s poor record for human rights and political reform as China has improved Europe’s infrastructure.