China and Central Asia: Cooperation focus

Central Asian countries and China are planning to strengthen the mutually beneficial partnership. The One Belt, One Road initiative opens a wide range of opportunities to enhance this cooperation. Experts say that implementation of this international mega-project will promote developments in all involved countries. The initiative will bring about new improvements in the region in such areas as transit and logistics infrastructure and expansion of road and transport networks. Central Asia’s favorable geo-economic situation will also positively affect China’s economy.             

ZHANG HANHUI, CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN:

 - We are going to open soon the Western Europe - Western China highway that goes through Kazakhstan. The opening of the trans-border highway will give us good results. There are two railroads going through Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries to Europe, and through Turkmenistan, Mashhad, Turkey to the Middle East. Chinese experts are exploring Aktau’s opportunities to construct a railroad to Azerbaijan. Technologies are in place here, that’s why our economies should develop as a whole.    

Kazakhstan plays a special role in China’s trade and economic relations with the Eurasian countries. According to Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan, Zhang Hanhui, 2/3 of the railroad traffic from China to Europe goes through Kazakhstan. The cooperation is not limited solely to transport. Today China and Central Asian countries have joint projects in energy, logistics, light industry and agriculture. Last year, the volume of trade turnover between Kazakhstan and China made up eighteen billion US dollars. Statistics show that this indicator grew almost 40% compared to last year’s figures.

ZHANG HANHUI, CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN:

 - Developing good relations and cooperation with neighboring countries is China’s priority in foreign policy. Peace and stability in Central Asia and peaceful environment around China are important factors of ensuring stable development. We work closely together. For instance, there is a gas pipeline that goes from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to China and reaches Hong Kong. This is the modern Silk Road.