Giuseppe Sandro Mela.
The State Council – The People’s Republic of China – ha aperto da qualche tempo un complesso sito internet dedicato alla The Belt and Road Initiative.
Gli Occidentali trovano una grande difficoltà a cercare di comprendere come la Cina si muova su ottiche strategiche, e tendono a risolvere ogni problematica in una mera questione economica, con l’aggravante che di norma considerano soltanto l’immediato. Nulla quindi da stupirsi se quando iniziano a capire i giochi siano stati fatti, e da un bel pezzo.
Anche se occorre mutare i termini, sembrerebbe che si stia ripetendo la situazione determinata dalle campagne italiane di Napoleone. Il Consiglio Aulico austriaco, una sorta di rudimentale stato maggiore, avocava a sé gli spostamenti a livello di reggimento pur essendo il teatro di guerra distante ottocento kilometri: i tempi di comunicazione erano smisuratamente lunghi. Non solo. Il Consiglio Aulico dava per scontato che le truppe si spostassero portandosi dietro lunghe colonne di carriaggi a supporto logistico, che garantissero munizionamento e viveri, oltre a generi di conforto: il risultato era una velocità di spostamenti di solo una decina di kilometri al dì. Al contrario, Napoleone si era organizzato in corpi d’armata che ricevevano solo direttive strategiche, lasciando al loro comandante tutte le iniziative locali. Poi, i francesi non si trascinavano dietro che pochissimi carriaggi, per lo più munizioni, e vivevano come le cavallette sulle risorse locali. Il risultato era che le truppe napoleoniche potevano spostarsi anche di cinquanta kilometri al giorno, ed all’occorrenza, anche ben di più. Celeberrima la concentrazione effettuata da Napoleone ad Austerlitz. Gli austriaci proprio non riuscivano a capire come potesse napoleone essere così fulmineo delle sue azioni. Reputavano impossibile la cosa.
Il problema è anche quello delle risorse, ma di ben maggiore interesse è la modalità di impiego.
Nel caso cinese, gli occidentali non riescono a comprendere quanto i cinesi siano determinati a rimandare lo sviluppo del mercato interno, e quindi della relativa situazione socio – economica, a dopo che abbiano conquistato posizioni strategiche di dominio economico mondiale.
In altri termini, l’occidentale ideologizzato vede il welfare minimale cinese come una imposizione tirannica invece che come una situazione voluta e condivisa: prima si vince, quindi si festeggia.
Il progetto Belt and Road è strategico, ossia guarda ai decenni.
Il suo primo pilastro è la constatazione che senza infrastrutture – acquedotti, fogne, centrali elettriche, strade e strade ferrate – è semplicemente impossibile impiantare attività produttive e commerciali.
Il suo secondo pilastro è la volontà di fare emergere nazioni con sistemi economici ancora a livello di miseria. Certo, prima che il Bangladesh possa disporre di un sistema economico decentemente funzionante passeranno uno o due decenni. Però, quando i paesi del sud est asiatico, e quelli africani, saranno diventati economie emerse, essi continueranno a gravitare nell’orbita cinese e l’Occidente si troverà strategicamente accerchiato, quasi senza più nessuna opportunità operativa.
Il suo terzo pilastro è la sinizzazione strisciante dell’economia occidentale. La Cina sta perseguendo una accurata strategia di acquisti di realtà produttive strategiche, da ultima la Edp portoghese. Diamo tempo al tempo: alla fine l’Europa sarà sinizzata.
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«It traveled a 9,800-kilometer-long journey for 15 days through Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Slovakia, and slowly pulled into Vienna South Freight Center»
«China-Europe freight trains have made 1,000 trips in the first three months, up 75 percent compared with the same period last year»
«According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, the total trade volume between the two countries reached a historic high of 8.39 billion US dollars in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 15.5 percent from 2016»
«The train will travel 11,000 kilometers to the Belgian city of Antwerp, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, said Xu Fengyi, head of the Tangshan Customs. …. The train service will cut transport time from the usual 45 days by sea, to just 16 days»
«The train carried 53 containers of goods valued at 23 million yuan ($3.6 million), including textile machinery produced in Shandong. It will travel about 7,300 kilometers for 13 days to arrive at its destination in Uzbekistan»
«Since the first cargo train set off from Daqing city, Heilongjiang province, for Belgium last June, the new China-Europe train service tailor-made for Volvo’s Daqing factory has transported 10,936 China-made Volvo cars»
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Le ultime due frasi sono paramount.
– I treni merci cinesi sono in grado di trasportare 53 container l’uno, coprendo seicento kilometri al giorno.
– I cinesi hanno esportato in Europa, solo con questi treni, undicimila automobili Volvo prodotte in Cina.
Da ultimo, ma non certo per ultimo, si faccia la seguente constatazione.
I paesi del Visegrad e, più in generale, i paesi dell’ex est europeo stanno per essere collegati meglio con la Cina che con il resto dell’Unione Europea. Entro poco tempo il loro interscambio commerciale con la Cina sarà superiore a quello con il resto dell’Europa. Poi non ci si stupisca se in un futuro tendessero a gravitare più sulla Cina che sulla Unione Europa.
→ China Daily. 2018-04-30. New freight train symbol of cooperation with China: Austrian president
VIENNA – A new China-Europe freight train arrived in Vienna on Friday, which Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen described as a symbol of the cooperation between China and Austria.
The train — carrying 41 containers of goods valued at 1.5 million US dollars, including LED displays, tires and lamps — departed from Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province on April 12.
It traveled a 9,800-kilometer-long journey for 15 days through Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Slovakia, and slowly pulled into Vienna South Freight Center. From the station, the goods will be transported to the destination.
“This is really a symbol of the cooperation between China and Austria,” Van der Bellen told Xinhua. “We really hope this train is the first step of closer cooperation between China and Austria.”
With the new train, Austria is included into the network of China-Europe freight train service under the Belt and Road Initiative.
China-Europe freight trains have made 1,000 trips in the first three months, up 75 percent compared with the same period last year, according to China Railway Corporation.
The cross-border rail network links 43 Chinese cities with 41 European cities in 13 countries. Chengdu has 16 routes to cities including Nuremberg, Milan and Prague.
The first direct freight train came after Austria’s largest delegation visited China from April 7 to 12, during which both sides enhanced bilateral ties, especially Belt and Road cooperation.
Chinese Ambassador to Austria Li Xiaosi told Xinhua that the Austrian President had paid a successful visit to China.
After the new China-Europe cargo train in Vienna, both nations would work closely to facilitate more cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative, said Li.
Austria will build a new station as a terminal for the Belt and Road in the middle of the Europe, according to a memorandum of cooperation signed by Austrian OBB Holding AG and Chengdu International Rail Port Investment & Development (Group) Co., Ltd.
According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, the total trade volume between the two countries reached a historic high of 8.39 billion US dollars in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 15.5 percent from 2016.
→ China Daily. 2018-04-30. Freight train service connects Chinese port with Belgium
SHIJIAZHUANG – A freight train service has been launched from a port in North China’s Hebei province to Belgium, a further line for freight between China and Europe.
A train carrying 41 containers of local products, such as kaoline and yeast, departed around noon Thursday from Jingtang Port District in the city of Tangshan, marking the inauguration of the service.
The train will travel 11,000 kilometers to the Belgian city of Antwerp, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, said Xu Fengyi, head of the Tangshan Customs.
The train service will cut transport time from the usual 45 days by sea, to just 16 days.
Tangshan, 150 km from Beijing and sitting on the north of the Bohai Sea, has just develop 32 km of its 230-km coastline for commercial use, where two port districts — Jingtang and Caofeidian — are located. It handled 573 million tonnes of freight last year, according to the city government.
The new freight service offers a new way not only for the freight of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei to Europe, but also for that of Japan and the Republic of Korea to Europe via China, according to Xu.
→ China Daily. 2018-04-13. Jinan launches freight train service to Uzbekistan
JINAN – A new freight train left Jinan, capital of East China’s Shandong province, for Uzbekistan Friday morning.
The train carried 53 containers of goods valued at 23 million yuan ($3.6 million), including textile machinery produced in Shandong. It will travel about 7,300 kilometers for 13 days to arrive at its destination in Uzbekistan.
This is the first China-Asia freight train service launched in the city, which will bring new opportunities for Jinan’s development, said the local railway bureau.
The province has eight international freight train routes. A total of 70 China-Europe and China-Asia freight trains departed from the province in the first three months of this year.
→ China Daily. 2018-02-27. New China-Europe train service begins with 11,000 cars
Since the first cargo train set off from Daqing city, Heilongjiang province, for Belgium last June, the new China-Europe train service tailor-made for Volvo’s Daqing factory has transported 10,936 China-made Volvo cars.
A one-way trip takes 18 days via the 10,887 kilometers-long route, passing through Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, saving 28 days compared to the traditional marine transport.
The train to Zeebrugge Port in Belgium also marked the first time that China has exported complete vehicles to Western Europe.
The return train will also transport goods, opening up a faster, safer and more convenient way between Europe and China.
→ China Daily. 2018-03-29. China-Europe railway network sparks new vitality in Germany’s biggest inland port
BERLIN – For centuries, endless river steamers run on the Rhine river, making their whistles as the symbol of the prosperity of German city Duisburg.
Today the sirens of trains coming from thousands of miles away and the sound of whistles converge here. Like a cheerful symphony, new vitality is being brought to the city.
Duisburg, Germany’s biggest inland port and one of the important slots of China Railway Express (CRE), has witnessed fruitful results of the Belt and Road Initiative over the past few years and harvested its own urban economic growth.
Witness: From few to many
Amelie Erxleben, of DIT Duisburg Intermodal Terminal, showed us recently around the terminal, where containers labeled with “China Railway Express” were seen everywhere. Large equipment machines were busy loading and unloading.
“About one third of our business now is related to China,” Erxleben said, adding that “around 25 west- and eastbound CRE trains are expected here every week.”
DIT, one of the nine large freight yards, is also a main railway container distribution center in the region. Only four years ago, DIT only handled seven to eight CRE trains weekly.
The soaring business volume makes dit appear more crowded. Even the road in front of its gated is often congested.
In order to deal with new situation, management of the terminal has recently bought another 200,000 square meters of land, according to Erxleben.
Duisburg is on one end of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe rail line which started operation in 2011 from the Chinese southwest city of Chongqing. In recent years, more and more trains operated by the CRE from Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Yiwu, Shenyang and other Chinese cities are arriving here.
Statistics showed that 78 Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe trains, a year-on-year increase of 66 percent, have been operated since this January. More than 1,000 trains are planned this year.
Participation: Unlimited opportunities
Chen Si, a native woman from China’s western province of Sichuan, is exploring the huge market brought by CRE trains, together with her husband Klaus Hellmann, member of the supervisory board of the German logistics company Hellmann.
The transport between Germany and China takes CRE trains approximately 14 days, much faster than by sea and much cheaper than by air. Therefore, it has certain comparative advantage, according to Chen.
“Last year, the total volume of our business by rail from Europe to China amounted to 160,000 tonnes, almost equaling the weight of the Cologne Cathedral,” said Matthias Magnor, chief operating officer of Rail and Road at Hellmann, during an interview with Xinhua.
CRE trains has made a great contribution to that volume. Meanwhile, the business is growing very fast, Magnor added.
Many industries have benefited from the Europe-China freight trains.
“For example the fashion industry, the sales would be very much affected by seasonal reasons. Before the operation of CRE trains, it would take around 40 to 50 days to transport. But now 14 to 15 days are needed, which will sufficiently ensure the sales,” Magnor said.
In fact, when Hellmann began its CRE train business five years ago, some German companies were not very optimistic.
“I managed to persuade them that it is a viable transport option,” Hellmann said.
Facts speak louder than words. CRE trains under the Belt and Road Initiative have become the “third pillar” for the transportation between Europe and Asia besides air and sea ways.
Win-win: New sail for old ship
In recent years, Duisburg has also faced the problem of traditional growth momentum decline and is in search for new growth engines. It is just like an old ship opening a new sail. With CRE trains, another gold time will be presented to Duisburg.
Johannes Pflug, responsible for China affairs in the Duisburg municipality, said that the volume of the Port of Duisburg grew by 30 percent in 2017, making itself the fastest growing port in Germany.
CRE trains play an important role and more than 6,000 jobs in the area of logistics for the city have been created, Pflug told Xinhua, adding “we are the beneficiary of CRE trains.”
In Pflug’s opinion, CRE trains connect the Europe and Asia more closely, achieving a win-win situation. Not only Chinese goods, but also Chinese capital and companies are attracted to Duisburg. More than 100 Chinese companies have so far settled in the region.
“A Chinese company is constructing a 18-story hotel; Chinese company Huawei is responsible for the lighting project of the city,” Pflug said.
As the Mayor of Duisburg Soeren Link said, CRE trains have brought unlimited opportunities to the city. They bring not only the development of local logistics, but also the improvement of supporting services.
The Belt and Road Initiative sees Duisburg usher in a second spring, according to a commentary of German newspaper Sueddeutsche.
The Rhine crosses Duisburg and enters the North Sea. The world economy is just like the sea that can not return to the lake. Protectionism can not create current prosperity in Duisburg either. The new movement on the Rhine is precisely the pulse of this great new era.