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Warm welcome for tourists as 1st Beijing-Havana flight since COVID arrives in Cuba

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Warm welcome for tourists as 1st Beijing-Havana flight since COVID arrives in Cuba

2024-05-18 23:34 Last Updated At:05-19 10:03

Tourists aboard the first flight between China and Cuba since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic were greeted with a grand water tribute as they arrived in their Air China-operated Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana on Friday.

Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, Minister of Tourism Juan Carlos Garcia Granda, Minister of Transportation Adel Onofre Yzquierdo Rodriguez, and Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Ma Hui were present at the airport to greet the crew and participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

As a gesture of hospitality, tourists were presented with gifts such as straw hats and flowers upon their arrival.

"Although it was a long flight, I felt quite excited," said a Chinese tourist.

"I didn't expect for the flight to be received with a grand water salute or that our group would be greeted with such high honor," said another tourist.

Currently, there are two flights per week on the China-Cuba route, with a stopover in Madrid, Spain.

Minister of Tourism Juan Carlos Garcia Granda stated that Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel has signed a presidential decree and issued a communique, introducing a visa-free policy for Chinese citizens who enter and transit Cuba with ordinary passports for no more than 90 days.

Local authorities expect the resumption of flights to boost tourism, strengthen connectivity and foster cultural exchanges between China and Cuba.

"We are very grateful to the Chinese people. We also believe that the arrival of this first flight will usher us into a new era," said Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz.

Warm welcome for tourists as 1st Beijing-Havana flight since COVID arrives in Cuba

Warm welcome for tourists as 1st Beijing-Havana flight since COVID arrives in Cuba

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Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

2024-07-20 07:14 Last Updated At:08:27

China's border ports have been implementing a range of cargo facilitation policies, leading to a surge in cargo throughput, with a nearly 57 percent year-on-year increase in the inspection of transportation vehicles in the first half of 2024.

According to the data recently released by the National Immigration Administration, China's ports inspected about 15.42 million vehicle, vessel, and train trips in the first six months of this year, a 56.9 percent jump from the same period last year.

The border ports have rolled out a series of measures to streamline customs clearance for cargo. At major land ports, fast lanes have been set up for the rapid release of critical supplies. At major seaports, online declaration has been enabled for border inspection boarding. In international shipping, arriving vessels can have much faster departures thanks to the efficient inspections.

The combined sea-rail transport model, utilizing maritime routes and the China-Europe freight train service, has made the port of Lianyungang in east China's Jiangsu Province one of the most convenient and economical gateways to the sea. It handles more than 80 percent of Kazakhstan's transit cargo to China.

At the port, containers carrying with auto parts, home appliances, and other products are offloaded, hoisted onto trucks, and then loaded onto China-Europe freight trains bound for destinations like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

"From unloading to boarding the freight train, the entire process can now be completed in as little as eight minutes. These containers are expected to reach the border ports within six days, greatly reducing transportation time and cost," said a logistics company employee.

The Youyi Pass in the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, also known as Friendship Pass, on the China-Vietnam border is an important cross-national trade channel. To enhance the clearance efficiency of imported fruits, the port has established "durian-only" channels and green channels for agricultural products, as well as an intelligent inspection assistance system. A Chinese cargo truck can now clear customs in just 15 seconds.

As the country's largest land port for fruit imports and exports, the Youyi Pass saw fruit imports worth 23.92 billion yuan (about 3.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2023, a 262.9-percent surge year on year.

Pattama Narmwong, chairman of the Thai Mangosteen Association, noted that the greatly improved clearance efficiency has considerably cut down on transportation time and costs, supporting the burgeoning development of fruit trade between China and Southeast Asian nations.

Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

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