URUMQI, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The inland port of Alashankou in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region saw a record number of cargo trains in 2016.
The number of outbound China-Europe and China-Asia cargo trains crossing the border port hit 1,200 in 2016, bringing the total cargo trains to 3,000 by May since the first one via Alashankou was launched in 2011.
In the first four months of 2017, the number of inbound international cargo trains via Alashankou reached 162, carrying more than 43,000 tonnes of goods worth 3 billion yuan (440 million U.S. dollars), according to Alashankou Customs.
The inbound trains transport various products including milk powder, baby food, IT products and vehicle parts as well as engineering and medical equipment.
China has launched 51 China-Europe cargo train routes covering 11 countries and 28 cities in Europe. As a key component of the Belt and Road Initiative, direct cargo trains have strongly enhanced the trade links between China and Europe.
The European Union has been China's largest trading partner for more than a decade, while China is one of the EU's biggest sources of imports.