NANNING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- China and Vietnam officially opened a new cross-border bridge on Tuesday linking the city of Dongxing in China and the city of Mong Cai in Vietnam.
The 27.7-meter-wide Beilun II bridge has four main lanes and two auxiliary ones. Its opening means that the busy port of Dongxing will have two bridges, and improved capacity to serve booming border trade between China and Vietnam.
Construction of the bridge started in 2014 and was completed in September 2017, involving an investment of about 220 million yuan (32.7 million U.S. dollars) from China and Vietnam.
It will shorten waiting time for customs clearance, thus boosting border logistics and trade and promoting connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative, said Huang Xiong, deputy director of Dongxing Customs.
The new bridge will be used for freight vehicles, while the existing Beilun bridge, 3 km away, will be reserved for the passage of personnel only, officials said.
Dongxing, in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, faces Mong Cai across the Beilun river and has become an important goods channel between China and Southeast Asia.
In 2018, trade between Dongxing and Vietnam reached 24.45 billion yuan. The Dongxing port last year handled over 47,000 vehicles and about 12 million passengers, a record high.
Last year, trade volume between China and Vietnam reached a record high of nearly 150 billion U.S. dollars, and China accounted for the largest number of foreign tourists in Vietnam, roughly 5 million people.