CGTNOct 17, 2019
Driving for hours on what was once the southern Silk Road, there are rows of vivid red through a featureless desert landscape. These are where locals dry tomatoes. The town is in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China’s biggest western region. Its vast land area straddles different climates. However, the amount of sunshine is sufficient for growing fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes. Although tomatoes do not feature much in the traditional Chinese diet, the country now grows more tomatoes for processing than anywhere else in the world, except U.S. state of California. Thanks to a growing network of China-Europe cargo trains, more than 80 percent of ketchup produced in Xinjiang is exported to Russia and Italy every year. Additionally, 49 percent of tomato product is outputted from here, valued around 4.5 billion yuan (around 630 million U.S. dollar).