The first Zhengzhou-Liege cargo train leaves Liege, Belgium, on Oct. 24, 2018. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)
Belgium and China Wednesday launched a new cargo train route linking the Belgian city of Liege, some 100 km southeast of Brussels, to Zhengzhou, the capital city of China's Henan province.
The first cargo train, loaded with 37 containers, left Liege Logistics Intermodal at 4 p.m. local time, starting a trip that covers more than 11,000 km and is set to take 12 days.
The Zhengzhou-Liege cargo train route is the third of its kind connecting cities of the two countries, marking their growing interests to nurture closer economic and trade ties.
The train service is scheduled to run once a week initially, and the frequency is expected to rise in the future.
The first cargo train route between China and Belgium was launched in June last year, connecting China's Daqing city to Zeebrugge Port, followed by the second one in May this year, linking north China's Tangshan City to Antwerp Port.
Pierre-Yves Jeholet, vice president of Wallonia, along with He Jinping, vice-governor of the Henan province, said at the launching press conference in Liege, "We have every interest in turning to China and having close, strong relationships, and we must see this as an opportunity and a necessity."
Jeholet said Wallonia is encouraging the region's large exporters and small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) alike to export more products to China.
"This railway link is that together we are able to make such projects," he said.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the friendly relationship between Henan province and Wallonia, He noted, stressing that the route denotes a new phase of development between the two regions.