New "Silk Road" route: from Chengdu to Moscow now much faster

According to materials of the Xinhua IA

On 2 May 2015 a direct flight connection was launched between Moscow and the major city of Chengdu in western China. This is a direct passenger route, which became the fourth from Chengdu to Europe after flights were launched to Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt. Trade relations between Russia and China have a long history. In 2015,  the 66th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Soviet Union is celebrated, moreover, in 2015 there is the 70th anniversary celebration of the global victory over fascism. Stressing the importance of Russian-Chinese partnership and friendship, Chinese President Xi Jinping will be guest of honor at the Victory Parade in Moscow. During the war, Chengdu was a vital logistical city for Chinese troops during the war with the Japanese army, and its inhabitants made a significant contribution to the global struggle against the invaders.

The opening of direct flights between Chengdu and Moscow is an example of the growing cooperation between Russia and China in the fields of politics, economy, trade, culture and tourism. With this new route, Moscow and Chengdu will become even more important international centers. If you are in Chengdu in the morning, in the evening you are already in Moscow.

Flights on the Chengdu-Moscow route will operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on a widebody Airbus A330 aircraft with two passenger aisles in the cabin. Passengers do not need to use another plane, the entire flight’s duration is 7.5 hours. The launch of the route is evidence that the most important airhub of western China is turning more toward Russia.

At present, Chengdu has established air services with 189 cities, 70 of which are foreign and 119 Chinese; flights are made in 244 directions, 83 of them international. These figures show the leading position of Chengdu civil aviation among all cities in western China.Not so long ago the city government initiated the construction of a second airport in Chengdu, with its scale 80% greater than that now existing, ie it will be second only to Beijing airport.

As experts say, the new airport in Chengdu will allow the city to have  closer, more intense connection with the rest of the world: the power of the two airports will satisfy the needs of people for international and domestic flights, and raise the Chengdu transport and logistics hub to the level of national importance.

The launch of the direct air passenger service between Moscow and the main town of the province of Sichuan, in addition to the high-speed rail "Chengdu - Europe", will be important to accelerate the development of Russian-Chinese cooperation in all spheres, raise business and cultural ties between the Russian and Chinese peoples to more intense and productive level.

Chengdu closer than you think

In 1998 friendship was documented between St. Petersburg and Chengdu, and in 2011 the same relations were established with Volgograd, which generally indicates a general trend of the convergence of Chengdu with the cities of Russia in the field of cultural and trade and economic relations.

According to statistics, in 2014 trade turnover between Russia and the province of Sichuan was 1.2 billion dollars, which is 24.4% more than the previous year, including imports from the province, which rose by 23.3% to 1.1 billion dollars, while exports rose 47% to 63 million dollars in Sichuan. More detailed data suggest that the provincial capital, Chengdu, has played a vital role in increasing sales of these indicators.

With the opening of the 'Chengdu-Europe' high-speed rail link, trade relations of Chengdu in the western direction received a significant boost. In addition to Europe, the markets of Central Asia and the Middle East are covered. Today in the European direction on this route Chinese goods were transported worth 580 million dollars, which succinctly fits into the new trading paradigm of China, which is "One way, one belt". From the trading range transported by this rail route, it is important to highlight women's shoes, because Chengdu, as they say in China, is "the city of women's shoes." And of every 10 pairs of shoes following the route to the West, every second pair is for sale in Russia.

According to the annual report on the development of China's foreign tourism industry for 2014, in 2013 in the ranking of the 15 most visited countries by Chinese tourists, Russia, ahead of Canada, ranked 12th. So Russia is becoming one of the most popular destinations for Chinese citizens travelling for tourism abroad. According to the logistics department of the municipal town, "By 2020, Chengdu will become a modern logistics center of global significance, Western-oriented and serving the interests of the whole of China."

It is easy to live and work here

Since ancient times, Chengdu was called "blessed edge", and in recent years, increasingly it can be heard of Chengdu that it is "the city with the happiest residents in China", "the city with the best international image." Today the city organically combines a high level of urbanization and the rich cultural heritage of the ancient capital of western China, which in turn ensures the sustainable development of the provincial center; Chengdu is convenient to live, work and do business.

Chengdu is the most important city of western China, the priority areas in production are considered to be the automotive, electronics, metallurgy, food, petrochemicals, construction materials and light industries, machinery and so on. And the GDP is more than 1 trillion yuan (160 billion dollars).

According to official statistics, in the 1st quarter of 2015 in respect of Chengdu documents on 108 projects were signed, involving large capital (including additional capital), which allow to implement the plan by 26% in 2015, the total investment amounted to 46.3 billion yuan (7 6 billion dollars); revenues from existing projects in the 1st quarter amounted to 92.1 billion yuan, and Chinese foreign investment is 2 billion yuan – the latter two are also indicators of the annual plan, which was implemented over more than a quarter, and this is certainly a good performance for the beginning of the year.

Today, in Chengdu there are 262 among 500 of the world's strongest companies. However, this does not mean that all the niches are already occupied: with every step, Chengdu'd integration into the world economy and commercial business opportunities is increasing.

"The diamond economic zone of Chengdu-Chongqing" is going at full pace, the launch of which will favor the development of the state program "One way, one belt" within existing relations in the economic area of the mouth of the Yangtze. In the context of the strategy of "openness in all aspects" the pace of internationalization and modernization is accelerating. Today further trade and economic cooperation opportunities between Chengdu and Russia, and even the whole of Europe, are expected to develop.

 

The ancient history of a city with a rich culture

The culture of a city is its soul, this is remarkable and different from other cities. Chengdu has a history of 2300 years, the city is rich in culture and natural resources. At the beginning of 2015 in the magazine's annual 'Things that are necessary to visit', Chengdu was one of the three must-visit cities in China.

The most important archaeological discovery to be made in Chengdu are the ruins with the remains of golden sand. This demonstrates the rich culture of the kingdom of Shu, which existed 3000 years ago; the figure of a solar phoenix with rounded forms of gold foil was also discovered, which was later recognized by the Ministry of Culture as a subject of the cultural heritage of China. Kuanchzhay Syantszy ("narrow and wide lane") is the business card of Chengdu, or "the urban living room," as it is called – the most stylish attraction in the city. Being here, you can feel the atmosphere of the past, see its fingerprints, but also here you can feel the free lifestyle of modern Chengdu citizens.

During the period of Warring States, after the reign of van Tsinchzhao (276-251 BC), the field Shu commander Li Bing  built an irrigation system using dams, and subsequently he was referred to as "the founder of the culture of aquatic plants." Located 20 km from the  Dutszyanskih dams and the Tsinchen mountains, since ancient times the city was called the "secluded place of China," and it is not surprising that here is a cradle of Taoism. There are also dozens of Taoist monasteries in a perfect state of preservation.

It should be noted that the business card is not limited to Chengdu Kuanchzhay Syantszy, people go to Chengdu to see its famous giant pandas, as well as to enjoy the finest Sichuan cuisine (in 2010, Chengdu received from UNESCO the title of "capital of culinary delights") – all this will give you unforgettable, warm memories of beautiful Chengdu. You can also take in the original Sichuan opera, in which the multi-faceted performer is "changing face", the "flames spewing out of his mouth." In general, in Chengdu, there are certainly things to see. It is noteworthy that for tourists in Chengdu there is a visa-free policy for the first 72 hours of their stay on the territory of China, which is quite convenient for visitors from Russia and from other countries.

The development of tourism ties between Russia and China on the scale of the restoration of the Silk Road is of incredible weight and improves the efficiency of the implementation of China's state program "One belt – one way." Therefore, the launch of direct flights from Southwest China's Chengdu City to Moscow will undoubtedly strengthen the socio-cultural and trade-economic relations, because for centuries the Silk Road ran through Russia, and finally regain its historic position in relations between China and Russia.

 

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