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China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway to bring tangible benefits to participants, whole region, experts say

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2024-06-13

BISHKEK -- The China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project, on which an intergovernmental agreement was signed last week, will bring enormous and tangible benefits to all participants and peoples in the region, experts have said.

In an interview with Xinhua, Kubanychbek Taabaldiev, a Kyrgyz political scientist and professor of international relations at Bishkek-located Ala-Too International University, said that signing of the agreement on the construction of the railway is a historical event for the participants of this project.

"The implementation of the project will bring enormous benefits to all project participants and all of Central and South Asia, since a new transit route will be open from East to West," Taabaldiev said. "The transit of goods from China to the south and further to the west will be carried out via a shorter route."

The railway starts from Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and enters the territory of Uzbekistan through Kyrgyzstan. In the future, it can extend to West Asia and South Asia.

"The appropriate infrastructure will be created, new jobs are open, and new opportunities will appear for the development of the entire Central Asian region," he said.

President of the Association of Markets of Kyrgyzstan, Sergei Ponomarev, told Xinhua that the historical parallel of this project is that the railway will run along the route of the Great Silk Road.

"The point is that the project comes from the Belt and Road Initiative. Kyrgyzstan was one of the first to appreciate this initiative, as it is very promising and interesting," Ponomarev noted.

Speaking about the benefits that Kyrgyzstan receives from this project, the expert noted that the republic, with the help of the railway, will receive a large increase in the passage of goods. In addition, thanks to the railway, Kyrgyzstan, which is located in a geographical dead end, will have access to the sea.

"Therefore, it is an interesting opportunity for Kyrgyzstan to use this chance. This is not only the creation of jobs and infrastructure development, but also the improvement of economic indicators and an increase in the budget. But in general, the main goal of the project is to improve the lives of citizens of Kyrgyzstan, China and Uzbekistan," Ponomarev said.

The implementation of this railway project will have a beneficial impact on all spheres of public life in Central Asia, including Uzbekistan, as it will generate a corresponding economic effect, said Azamat Seitov, Doctor of Sociology, Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Anthropology and Conflictology at the Institute for Advanced International Studies of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy of Uzbekistan.

"Moreover, the new railway will allow Uzbekistan to expand its export capabilities and strengthen its role as a transit hub. New enterprises and tens of thousands of jobs will be created, mutual trade volumes and industrial cooperation scales will increase, and investment attractiveness will improve, all of which will contribute to economic development, better living conditions, and quality of life for residents of the country and the region," said Seitov.

He noted that the annual volume of freight traffic on this route will increase, and delivery time for goods to end consumers will be reduced. Additionally, a modern transit-logistics infrastructure, warehouses, and terminals will be established.

As a result, this project will open new transportation opportunities in Central Asia and provide a completely new transport corridor for the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, Seitov said.

He voiced confidence that the signing of the agreement on the implementation of the railway construction will send an important signal to the international community about the firm intention of China and Central Asian countries to further deepen cooperation, strengthen security, and ensure stability in the region, which is in the fundamental interests of the parties.

His remarks were echoed by Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov in a congratulatory video message to participants of the agreement signing ceremony held in Beijing.

"This project will become a symbol of cooperation within the framework of a comprehensive strategic partnership in a new era between Kyrgyzstan, China and Uzbekistan. The creation of this key continental bridge in the Eurasian space will bring significant benefits to our peoples," Japarov said.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Qiushi Journal.