Until recently considered to be impossible, a road project connecting China and Russia has become a fact. On May 18, the first convoy of trucks and buses, in the direction to Russia, set off from the Chinese city of Dalian. The new connection can seriously change the face of road transport of the entire Eurasian continent.
A convoy of six lorries and two buses set off on the new Dalian-Novosibirsk route. The trail runs along the border with Mongolia and Kazakhstan through Yingkou, Manzhouli (China), Zabaykalsky Krai, Ulaan Ude, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kemerovo (Russia). Vehicles were expected yesterday in Novosibirsk. Within 12 days, the convoy completed a route of almost 6 thousand kilometers.
China joins the TIR Convention
Why is this event so important? First of all, China ratified the United Nation Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention), which will make transport on the China-Russia route much faster. It is estimated that the delivery time will be reduced even twice, e.g. thanks to simplified customs procedures, shorter stopovers at the border and good infrastructure. A successful experiment can become a cheaper, faster and more flexible alternative to rail and air transport dominating in this region.
It should certainly be emphasized that this is a strategically brilliant move by Russia in response to the European embargo. The biggest winners here will be China, which will get a good deal with its neighbor and Russia, which will become independent from the supplies, among others, of Polish food. The consequence of this may be the loss of the largest market for western agriculture” – claims Karolina Torenc, an expert at Go Logis, a Polish forwarding company specializing in servicing Eastern markets, including Russia.
– This project is a breakthrough because for the first time in history Russian and Chinese road carriers will be able to move freely in both countries and carry out loading and unloading anywhere in China and the Russian Federation – said Alexei Dwojnich, head of Rosawtotrans, the Russian Road Transport Agency.
Deputy Minister of Transport of China, Liu Xiaoming, stated that the development of transport is the main goal of China’s economic policy for the next few years.
As part of the implementation of the One Belt One Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union plan, we create a transport corridor for lorries. This is an interstate Eurasian bridge of the future” – added Liu Xiaoming.
What about embargo?
According to the agreement between China and Russia, carriers of both countries can now only carry out transport within the border zones under a special system of transport permits valid on certain routes.
On May 22, first trucks crossed the Russian border. Customs procedures were carried out smoothly (vehicles transported fruit and vegetables). They had 4 thousand kilometers left to the place of unloading in Novosibirsk along the border with Mongolia and Kazakhstan. They initiated a great connection for road transport to China’s extensive market.