China on 9 February 2015 launched its first cruise liner to sail via its ambitious transcontinental initiative Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The sail was launched from the Beihai port located in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
During its maiden tour the liner will visit three South-East Asian nations namely Vietnam, the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia.
The cruise liner is a 135-meter-long and 20-meter-wide that can accommodate 400 people and is equipped with wireless internet access.
Maritime Silk Road (MSR)
• The 21st century Maritime Silk Road project is an initiative of President of China Xi Jingping who in 2013 proposed the rejuvenation of the MSR and revival of the ancient Silk Road to establish close relation between the China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) communities
• The MSR seeks to string together partnerships with countries in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean, including India
• This maritime route entails expanding ports and industrial parks in Asia, the Mideast, Africa and Europe
• For development of the MSR, China had announced a 40 billion US dollar Silk Road fund which became operational from February 2015
What: Launched by China
When: 9 February 2015