by Xinhua writer Ren Ke
BERLIN, April 15 (Xinhua) -- After a journey of more than 15 days, a Chinese freight train, filled with medical supplies and other goods, arrived in the western German city of Duisburg on Tuesday.
The train, which started off from central China's city of Wuhan, has now joined its two siblings in Europe -- one departing from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, the other setting out from the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu.
Like sitting by a fireplace in winter, the arrivals have injected warmth into the coronavirus chill that has frozen most of the comings-and-goings between countries, adding confidence and strength to the joint China-Europe fight against COVID-19.
Sweeping through Eurasia, the three trains, all under the operation of China Railway Express, have brought with them urgently needed anti-coronavirus materials. The freight train to Duisburg was laden with over 160 tons of epidemic prevention supplies, such as medical fabrics and tablecloths, as well as must-have goods for the resumption of work and production, such as auto parts, electronic products and optical fiber.
The two trains from Chongqing and Yiwu are also of special significance. The former, dubbed "China Post" and loaded with 44 TEUs of relief supplies and parcels, rolled into the capital of Lithuania over the weekend. It became the first train of a new postal rail service to Europe to meet the rising demand for international parcel freight amid the pandemic.
The latter, leaving from the world's largest wholesale market for small consumer goods with over 200,000 parcels like face masks, protective suits, decorations, garments and shoes, has also reached its final destination -- the European commodity center of Madrid, marking the restart of the regular Europe-bound postal service initiated in 2014.
The resumption of China-Europe freight services shows that China has effectively got the domestic virus situation under control, with economic and trade activities restarting gradually.
The China-Europe freight service, as an important component of the Belt and Road Initiative, has been playing a positive role in promoting the inter-connectivity of the world.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the resumption of the China-Europe freight service carries a significant meaning for the international community to mitigate the negative impacts on global supply chains and promote cross-border mobility of goods and services.
The timely resumption also demonstrates the spirit of solidarity and mutual support of China by providing badly-needed medical equipment to European countries.
A friend in need is a friend indeed. When COVID-19 hit hard in China, many European countries lent a helping hand. Now it is time for China to return its love and care. The China-Europe railway freight service is a perfect symbol of the China-Europe friendship.
Viruses know no border or nationality. In the face of such a crisis, only international solidarity and mutual support can beat the disease. Among the international joint efforts, the China-Europe freight trains have put a spring in the step toward the end of the global COVID-19 battle.