A special China-Europe freight train carrying goods for the Chinese New Year sales arrives in Xi'an in northwest China from Kazakhstan on January 27, 2019. (Photo: VCG)
Stocking up for the Spring Festival was as always a top priority for Chinese people this year. What's different this year is that more and more imported products have made it into the homes of ordinary Chinese people, as they boost their consumption and take advantage of the opportunities brought about by China's further opening to the world.
This is the first Chinese New Year after the China International Import Expo, and imported products can be found everywhere. Alongside favorites such as Chilean cherries, French wine, American nuts, Argentine beef, and Belgian chocolate are newly imported electronic devices and appliances incorporating artificial intelligence. Improvements to import policies that support cross-border e-commerce and logistics have made it increasingly convenient for Chinese people to buy imported goods during their Spring Festival holiday. And China-Europe freight trains traveling through Belt and Road countries and regions have made it even easier for households across the country to add an international flair to their Chinese New Year celebrations.
The first China-Europe Freight Train New Year Festival in the city of Xi'an in China's northwest provided local shoppers with a selection of products from more than 40 countries and regions across Europe and Central Asia. In the city of Zhengzhou in Henan Province, shoppers could choose from more than 100,000 products coming from more than 70 countries including Russia, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan. And in Yiwu in Zhejiang Province, people spent nearly $20 million on imported products for the Chinese New Year.
The growing presence of imported products in Chinese New Year shopping baskets is a testament to the ever-increasing openness of China's market. China is shifting from a development model that relied on speed and quantity to one that relies on quality and a growing openness to imported goods.
By taking steps like cutting tariffs, shrinking the list of industries closed to foreign investment, and raising the cost of infringements to intellectual property rights, China has made great strides towards fostering a national economy that better meets the needs of the Chinese people for a better life. As people across China hit the stores during the holidays, they've witnessed the benefits that have resulted from the increasing openness of the country's economy.