Construction Frontline

The construction of the China-Afghanistan-Iraq railway is just in time

Seetao 2022-06-17 14:08
  • The Wakhan Corridor connects Pakistan and Tajikistan, extending eastward to Xinjiang, China
  • In 2007, Iran proposed a five-country railway corridor plan. Issues such as line coordination affect the construction progress. The construction of the China-Arab railway is the most convenient method.
Read this article
11 Minutes

On the eastern side of Afghanistan, there is a long and narrow strip, like an arm, holding the sleeve of Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County in Xinjiang, my country. This "arm" is the Wakhan Corridor, also known as the Wakhan Valley.

On both sides of the Wakhan Corridor are Pakistan and Tajikistan, extending eastward to Xinjiang, China. It is about 300 kilometers long from east to west, about 75 kilometers at its widest point from north to south, and about 15 kilometers at its narrowest point. The China-Afghanistan border line in the Wakhan Corridor is about 92 kilometers. The terrain of the Wakhan Corridor is relatively flat, and it is not technically difficult to build a railway. The Wakhan Corridor was an important passage of the ancient Silk Road and was originally a territory of China.

In 1895, Britain and Russia signed the "Agreement on the Sphere of Influence in the Pamir Region". In the Wakhan Pamir region, which originally belonged to China, the "Wakhan Corridor" was assigned to Afghanistan as a cross between British India and Tsarist Russia. Military buffer zone. Afghanistan is known as the "cemetery of empires" because it is located at the "crossroads" of East Asia, West Asia, South Asia and Central Asia-Russia. It has been a battleground for military strategists since ancient times. Since the 19th century, the United Kingdom and Tsarist Russia first, then the former Soviet Union, and then the United States, have always been the arena of competition for major powers.

Before that, due to the war in Afghanistan, drugs and the heavy snowfall of the Wakhan Corridor every eight or nine months, this corridor seemed to be asleep and silent. Now, with the withdrawal of American troops and the establishment of a new Taliban government, the Wakhan Corridor has begun to return to people's sight. Recently, Iran promised Afghanistan that it will continue to complete the "Khaf (Herat)" railway between the two countries.

The Haf-Herat railway is a railway project aided by Iran in Afghanistan, with a total length of about 225 kilometers. As early as 2003 (note this time point), the two parties signed an agreement, and the construction started as late as 2007.

At present, the "Haf-Herat" railway has completed the construction of the "Haf (Iran)-Rozanak (Afghanistan)" section (about 138 kilometers) and will be put into operation by the end of 2020. Currently under construction is the "Rozanak-Herat" section, about 85 km. In 2007, Iran initiated the "Five-Country Railway Corridor Program" (FNRC), of which the Haf-Herat railway is part.

According to the original plan, the railway line of the five countries will extend from Haf Station in Iran to Herat Station in Afghanistan, then extend to the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border, then pass through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and enter China.

Because the whole line involves 5 countries including my country, it is called "Five-Country Railway Corridor". The advantage of the "Five-Country Railway Corridor" is to link the five countries together and facilitate economic and trade exchanges between the five countries. The disadvantage is that there are many countries, and there are many starting points of interest. A lot of things such as line coordination come one after another, which affects the construction progress of the corridor.

If you choose a convenient line, you can directly build the China-Africa Railway. It is only necessary to go eastward to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, at the Herat station of the existing "Haf-Herat" railway, and then extend northeast, through the Wakhan Corridor, and via the Khunjerab Port to Kashgar.

Poverty, hunger and drugs coexist with war. For the post-war reconstruction of Afghanistan and the maintenance of peace and stability, the first and foremost is to establish the basic conditions for economic development. Regarding the construction method of this railway, China-Afghanistan joint construction can be adopted, and Afghanistan can compensate for the construction funds of the China-Iran railway by mining deposits along the line. Afghanistan is rich in mineral resources, including natural gas, coal, salt, chromium, iron, copper, mica and emeralds. Keywords: One Belt One Road, One Belt One Road News, One Belt One Road Project

The route of the China-Afghanistan-Iran railway is roughly, from Kashgar through the Wakhan Corridor through Afghanistan to reach Haf in Iran. From Haf, you can connect to the railway network in Iran. It is divided into two southwest lines: the west line runs from Haf via Tehran to Tabriz, and from Tabriz to Ankara, Istanbul, Turkey, leading to Europe. The southern line runs from Haf via Tabas to Bafq and Sircan, from Sircan to Bandar Abbas, and reaches the Strait of Hormuz.Editor/XuNing