China is promoting a trade corridor featuring a multimodal transport network to boost socioeconomic development in western China. It should also increase connections between China and economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The so-called the New Western Land-Sea Corridor connects major inland cities in southwestern China, such as Chongqing municipality and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, with coastal and border cities in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
Cargo from inland China can be transported to the border and then shipped to ASEAN economies and then on to other parts of the world. Imports can also use the route to enter China.
The corridor uses Chongqing and Chengdu as logistics hubs to connect with another important freight train passage, between China and Europe, which is a key project of the Belt and Road
Since the plan was issued, more freight train services have operated along the corridor to boost international trade despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from January to November showed that ASEAN has become China's largest trading partner, replacing the European Union.