HAIKOU — The Hainan free trade port in South China’s Hainan province on Monday launched its first inter-continental shipping line linking the port with Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries.

The Yangpu-South Pacific-Australia route will connect ports in China, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Australia, according to authorities in Hainan’s Yangpu Economic Development Zone.

At present, two ships with a total of 1,740 containers have been put into operation on the route.

Officials said the new line will facilitate trades of coconut, beef, minerals, logs and consumer products between China and South Pacific countries.

Chinese authorities on June 1 released a master plan for the Hainan free trade port, aiming to build the southern island province into a globally influential high-level free trade port by the middle of the century.

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