New Intercontinental Railroad from China to Central Asia and Europe

The new transport corridor will shorten the land route currently used for commercial traffic between China and European countries by 900 kilometers

As part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), commonly known as the New Silk Road, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, signed an intergovernmental agreement to jointly build a railroad line that will connect the three countries and increase trade.

In May, China’s exports grew by 7.6% compared to the same month last year, while China’s imports rose by 1.8%.

The three presidents – Xi Jinping, Sadyr Zhaparov, and Shavkat Mirziyoyev – congratulated each other via video link on the signing. The Chinese President called the new railroad a “strategic project” of connectivity between China and Central Asia, “a milestone in BRI cooperation.” Xi Jinping said the signing of the agreement “will provide a solid legal basis for the construction of the new railroad and related infrastructure, turning a dream into reality” and demonstrating to the world “the firm determination of the three countries to promote cooperation and jointly seek development.”

The new strategic transport corridor will bring significant benefits to all three countries and their peoples, as well as contribute to the economic and social development of the entire region. The railroad will be a new transportation route that will connect Asia not only to Europe, but also to the Gulf countries, as well as contribute to connectivity and strengthen economic and commercial exchange in a very large region. The rail line will be the fastest link available to China and Central Asian countries, opening up major markets in South Asia and the Middle East.

According to the project, the new $8 billion railroad will start from the logistics center of Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang and, through the southwestern region of Kyrgyzstan, arrive at the Uzbek city of Andijan in the Fergana Valley. The authors of the project estimate that the new railroad will shorten the land route currently used for commercial traffic between China and European countries by about 900 kilometers. Russia has also supported the initiative due to its increasingly close alliance with China, which attaches strategic importance to the railroad.