Coastal expressway a boost for industry, trade

2021-06-04 09:14:17China Daily ECNS App Download

The Shenyang-Haikou Expressway that runs along China's coastline has promoted the development of port businesses, marine industries and tourism, and also boosted the country's foreign trade as the ports along it serve as gateways to countries on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The expressway, which will run for 3,623.55 kilometers, starts from Shenyang, Liaoning province, and runs through the provinces of Shandong and Jiangsu, Shanghai, and the provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong, eventually ending in Haikou, Hainan province.

Connecting special economic zones, coastal cities, national-level new areas and free trade areas, the road, commonly known as the Shenhai expressway, offers a window to China's achievements in reform and opening-up, experts said.

About 10 km from the expressway's Dalian Port exit, visitors see a bustling container terminal with colorful containers stacked neatly and tall cranes loading and unloading them at the Jinpu New Area in Dalian, Liaoning.

"This is one of the busiest container terminals in China," said Zhang Hao, deputy general manager of Dalian Container Terminal, adding the company handled 5.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of cargo last year.

That included nearly 80,000 TEU of refrigerated fruit imports, ranking first among domestic container terminals.

China's extensive expressway network, including the Shenhai expressway, can transport the fruits to customers around the country after they arrive at the port, Zhang said.

Dalian Container Terminal is one of the biggest container terminals in North China and its foreign trade routes reach ports in more than 160 countries and regions around the world.

Taking a roll-on, roll-off passenger vessel from a Dalian port, one can arrive at Yantai, Shandong province, which faces Dalian across Bohai Bay and then reach Changdao, a group of islands, administered by Yantai, to enjoy spectacular ocean scenery.

Lin Shaopeng, who runs a homestay on one of the islands, is busy nowadays as the summer tourism season approaches.

"My homestay costs around 2,000 yuan ($313) a day," he said. "Although the price is a little bit higher, a lot of tourists come to rent it."

Lin said his guests come from around the country.

"The expressways make transportation easy and convenient," he said. "There are many tourists coming from the southern part of China."

Changdao consists of 151 islands but only 10 are inhabited by a few locals. As a result, the area is home to an abundance of wildlife.

The Changdao Marine Ecological Civilization Comprehensive Pilot Zone was established in 2008 with the support of the local government to promote the island's ecological development.

The well-protected environment has helped the island's residents reap riches through the development of an eco-friendly fishing industry and tourism, the zone office said.

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