Haimen, Jiangsu, China, 25 August 2016: The first train carrying freight containers from China to Afghanistan left the eastern Chinese city of Nantong on Thursday afternoon. The train will leave China through the Alataw Pass in Xinjiang. It will then pass through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan before arriving Hairatan, a border town and a port in the north of Afghanistan.
Ambassador Janan Mosazai participated at the inauguration ceremony together with the Governor and principles of the Hainmen province of China. Mr. Mosazai said “of one of the most dynamic and populous regions in the world, namely the Heart of Asia region, comprising our next-door and near neighbours. Afghanistan and China were linked economically, politically and culturally for hundreds of years through the Ancient Silk Road, a history that underpins the close friendship and strategic cooperation between our two nations”.
The Governments of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and People’s Republic of China have opened a new chapter of partnership and collaboration after the first visit of His Excellency President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in China, his first visit after shaping of the National Unity Government.
Last September, the Government of Afghanistan organized the Sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) under the theme of the “The Silk Road through Afghanistan”, as part of efforts on revitalizing its historic location by generating regional consensus about Afghanistan as a hub for regional connectivity.
During the state visit of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to the People’s Republic of China, Memorandum of Understanding on One Belt One Road signed between both countries in the capital city of China, Beijing on 16 May 2016.
The MoU not only focuses on economic cooperation but on peace, openness, inclusiveness, and mutual benefit. Furthermore, it also realizes the goal of common development, and translates the advantages of solid political ties, economic complementaries and people-to-people exchanges into a pragmatic cooperation. Thus, Afghanistan welcomes China’s One Belt One Road initiative and strongly supports its implementation through Afghanistan.
Two trains are scheduled each month. The new railway route is part of efforts to improve logistics linking nations under the “One Belt One Road” initiative. The cargo train left Nantong on Thursday for Afghanistan’s Hairatan, marking the start of Central Asia freight train service.