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The Emergence of Trans-Asian Rail Freight Traffic as Part of the Belt and Road Initiative: Development and Limits

Frédéric Lasserre, Linyan Huang and Éric Mottet
Translated by Elizabeth Guill
p. 43-52

Abstract

Since 2011, freight transport rail links between China and Europe have been rapidly multiplying. Against all expectations, this commercial initiative, under the aegis of the Deutsche Bahn, has expanded significantly. The number of origin-destination pairs has increased, the number of trains has risen sharply, and both Chinese and European partners have far-reaching ambitions. The railways’ market share of trans-Asian freight is still low. However, rail link development projects have received a spectacular boost from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), resulting in the rapid expansion of volume, services offered, and the emergence of new rail infrastructure. Does this development, which needs to be examined more closely, represent a political tool for China? To what extent does the development of these rail links rely on a buoyant market? This article studies the development of rail services and infrastructure by means of a cross-analysis of a body of technical reports and publications by the transport sector’s professional press.

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Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on June 2021.

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References

Bibliographical reference

Frédéric Lasserre, Linyan Huang and Éric Mottet, « The Emergence of Trans-Asian Rail Freight Traffic as Part of the Belt and Road Initiative: Development and Limits », China Perspectives, 2020-2 | 2020, 43-52.

Electronic reference

Frédéric Lasserre, Linyan Huang and Éric Mottet, « The Emergence of Trans-Asian Rail Freight Traffic as Part of the Belt and Road Initiative: Development and Limits », China Perspectives [Online], 2020-2 | 2020, Online since 01 June 2021, connection on 05 August 2020. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/chinaperspectives/10162

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About the authors

Frédéric Lasserre

Frédéric Lasserre is Professor at the Department of Geography Université Laval, and director of the Conseil québécois d’Études géopolitiques. 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Québec QC, G1V 0A6 Canada. frederic.lasserre@ggr.ulaval.ca

By this author

Linyan Huang

Linyan Huang is a Ph.D student at the Department of Geography Université Laval, 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Québec QC, G1V 0A6 Canada. lin-yan.huang.1@ulaval.ca

Éric Mottet

Éric Mottet is Professor at the Department of Geography, Université du Québec, Montréal and co-director of the Conseil québécois d’Études géopolitiques, Case Postale 8888, succursale centre-ville, Montréal QC, H3C 3P8 Canada.ericmottet@gmail.com

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