The official opening of a passenger railway connecting the Chinese city of Changchun and Vladivostok in Russia is expected to promote cooperation in trade and tourism between the regions it serves.
The line is 866km (538 miles) long, of which 574km is in China and 292km in Russia, and serves Changchun (capital of Jilin Province), Hunchun, Hunchun Port, Krasinko Port and Vladivostok. End-to-end travel time is about 16 hours and 30 minutes. Initially a train will run once a week in each direction, with future service levels depending on demand.
People's Daily Online quoted Yu Tiejun of the Jilin Provincial Transportation Bureau as saying that the passenger line will become a major portal for the opening of north-eastern China to North-East Asia, and will help advance economic development, trade and tourism along the route.
Vladivostok is close to the border between Russia, China and North Korea, with access to the Pacific Ocean via the Sea of Japan. It has a long history of trade with China.
Yu said that Jilin Province hoped to persuade the Russian authorities to open freight lines and eventually build an international land and sea transportation channel extending westwards to Mongolia and east to Japan, as well as reaching South Korea.