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ssing $682 billion, and it is only natural that the two sides should seek to consolidate their trade and economic cooperation since it provides a solid foundati
on for strengthening their overall relationship, and they have everything to gain from building on the current g
ood momentum in their relations and docking their respective development strategies.
At the 21st China-EU Leaders’ Meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, Premier Li Keqiang is expected to underscore China’s resolve to deepen st
rategic mutual trust and cooperation with the EU, including on the Belt and Road Initiative that China has prop
osed as a means for improving global connectivity and shared development.
This year, Italy and Luxembourg signed memorandums of under
standing with China to jointly advance the construction of the Belt and Road, bringing to 22 the total num
ber of European countries that have signed cooperative agreements with China on the initiative.
It is not all hunky-dory of course, as two major powers, the two sides do differ on some issues, a
nd there are some disputes between them. However, their common interests far outweigh their differences.
For residents in Huojugou village in China’s Changbai Mountains, a train whistl
e is a euphonious sound that will bring gurgling water to their kitchen and bathhouse.
For 44 years, the mountainous village and several others in northeast China’s Jilin Province
have relied on a train, which only has one locomotive and one tank car, to provide their water supply.
The train commutes between the towns of Songshu and Baihe, nestled deep in Changbai Mountain. Since 1975, it has run for m
ore than 1.6 million km, delivering water to over 2,600 nearby villagers that had limited access to clean water.
Though cisterns have been built to store water unloaded from the trains, villagers along the line
still keep the tradition of welcoming the train in person, clanking their buckets and bottles.
Fetching water used to be a big headache. We had to travel to a far-away river to get water and e
ven make a hole in the ice during winter,” said Li Zuopei, an 80-year-old resident in Yingbishan village.
“Then the small train sent water right to our doorsteps, and it’s amaz
ing that the service has been going on uninterrupted for so many years,” said Li.