China launches first Maritime Silk Road cruise liner
China has launched first cruise liner to sail via its ambitious transcontinental initiative Maritime Silk Road (MSR).
The cruise liner sailed off from the Beihai port located in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
On its maiden voyage, cruise liner will visit three South-East Asian nations including Malaysia, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand.
This cruise liner is 135-metre-long 20-metre-wide ship and can accommodate about 400 people. It also equipped with wireless Internet access.
About Maritime Silk Road (MSR)
- The 21st century MSR project is an initiative by China to resurrect the ancient maritime Silk Road. It is perceived to be an attempt by China to ameliorate relations with South and Southeast Asia- in this case the focus is on maritime trade security.
- The project will prioritize construction ports and infrastructure, industrial parks in strategically significant countries in Southeast Asia, the Mideast, Africa, Europe and the Indian Ocean region, which includes Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
- China has already begun building of port projects in Gwadar (Pakistan), Hambantota (Sri Lanka) and Chittagong (Bangladesh) respectively.
- China has announced a USD 40 billion Silk Road fund which became operational in February 2015 for attracting small countries in the projects.