China’s much-vaunted plan to establish a “Silk Road Economic Belt” to Europe through Central Asia is encountering logistical and geographic challenges as the country seeks to counter a regional trading order taking shape under the US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership from which it is excluded, The Wall Street Journal reported. While freight train services are already in place between two pairs of Chinese and German cities, such speedy shipping can’t compete in terms of size with seaborne shipping where vessels can carry far more containers. The trade-off makes train freight worthwhile mainly for higher-value goods China exports to Europe, like laptops, and for products it imports, like car parts.
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