BEIJING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative has turned China's inland areas into the frontline of the country's opening up, with robust trade between the western, central Chinese regions and countries participating in the initiative.
Among the provincial-level regions that released their trade data for the first half of this year, most saw faster trade growth with B&R countries compared with their overall trade growth.
Central China's Hunan Province saw a 53.9-percent rise in trade with B&R countries compared with its total trade growth of 31.7 percent.
In the first half, Hunan's railway transportation equipment exports surged about 170 percent, thanks partly to improving political stability in some B&R countries, local authorities said.
Northwest China's Gansu Province experienced a similar boost in trade with B&R countries, which expanded 41 percent, slightly faster than its overall growth.
The provinces' strong growth would not have been possible without the connection to European and Asian countries via the four passageways within the B&R mechanism.
Other inland provinces, including Sichuan, Hubei, and Shanxi, also benefited from the B&R initiative and saw strong growth rates of trade with B&R countries.
In the first half, the country's trade of goods increased 7.9 percent year on year, while trade with B&R countries was 2.5 percentage points higher, customs data showed.