In what is considered one of the world's longest train rides, a freight train left Yiwu in China and will reach London in 21/2 weeks ("China starts freight train link to London"; Jan 3).
This initiative is part of President Xi Jinping's "One Belt, One Road" vision.
In some quarters, this has been recognised as the new silk route.
It is undeniable that air and land freights are much faster, but the global political symbolism cannot be ignored.
China wants to take a greater leadership stance on the global platform. Singapore has to factor China's desire if it also decides to create a smaller but no less significant silk route across Asean.
Could this negatively impact Singapore's port and maritime industry?
Colin Ong Tau Shien