Assessments

China and Central Asia's Railroad Ambitions

Nov 20, 2012 | 17:13 GMT
A CRH train drives into Urumqi south railway station.
A CRH train drives into Urumqi south railway station.
(Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Only after the fall of the Soviet Union did a rail project linking Central Asia and China actually materialize. China and Kazakhstan built the Alashankou railroad in 1990, connecting Xinjiang in northwestern China to Dostyk in Kazakhstan. From there, the Alashankou railroad links into the Soviet-built rail network that reaches into northeastern Uzbekistan and northern Kyrgyzstan. This system has deficiencies, however, since the rail gauge changes from China to Kazakhstan, creating a host of issues that will also be present in future Silk Road railroad projects....

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