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China and Pakistan have launched a direct rail and sea freight service, with the first cargo train departing from Yunnan, an inland province in southwest China, the official Xinhua news agency reported. A cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities left Kunming, capital of Yunnan, for Karachi on Wednesday, marking the opening of the new route. “The route helps locals businesses connect with the world market,” a representative from the New Silk Road Yunnan Limited said.

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