Kazakhstan moves closer to China! China Kazakhstan to Build the Third Railway
- Kazakhstan is the strategic fulcrum of China's the Belt and Road Initiative, and has the largest number of China Europe trains
- Kazakhstan retains a wide gauge integrated with Russia, which can not only make business with Russia, but also do business with China
Since Putin nodded to the construction of the China Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Railway, China's plan for the Trans Asian Railway has entered a stage of accelerated progress. Recently, Kazakhstan's ambassador to China also disclosed at the World Peace Forum that China and Kazakhstan are preparing to build a third railway. As soon as the news came out, it caused heated discussion outside. Many people said that it reflected China's increasing influence in Central Asia, and Kazakhstan further moved closer to China.
However, the analysis believes that, in fact, Kazakhstan is more concerned about its own profitability. Kazakhstan, as the strategic fulcrum of China's the Belt and Road Initiative, has the largest number of China EU trains in its territory. Taking 2019 as an example, more than 90% of China EU trains pass through Kazakhstan. In addition, China's existing trade with Europe is still growing, and the existing railway is basically in full load operation, and even there is congestion at Dostek and Atenkori ports. It can be seen that it is necessary to build the third cross-border railway between China and Kazakhstan to bear the transportation pressure. An additional cross-border railway means that Kazakhstan can charge more transit fees, which is a choice for economic development.
More importantly, the Kazakh ambassador to China has not disclosed the route of this cross-border railway or the gauge used by the railway. You should know that Kazakhstan has always used the same wide gauge as Russia, while China uses standard gauge. The China Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Railway, which agreed to start construction before, has not yet been determined whether to use standard gauge or wide gauge. It is not difficult to see that the gauge of this cross-border railway built with Kazakhstan is also discussed. The reason why we can't talk about it is that if we adopt different tracks, the cross-border railway must change tracks in Kazakhstan. If we stay longer, we can provide more jobs for the country and bring more economic benefits. Not to mention, the two existing cross-border railways in Kazakhstan all adopt different gauge.
In addition, there is another point related to the relationship between Central Asia and Russia. Russia has always regarded Central Asia as its sphere of influence. Although Central Asia may not be willing to integrate with Russia after the outbreak of the Russian Ukrainian conflict, at least Russia's feelings should be taken into account. Therefore, even if Putin nods, Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, may not be able to open up in-depth cooperation with China. So far, Kazakhstan has retained the wide gauge of integration with Russia, which is the best choice for the country to make business with Russia and China.
Of course, there are also views that China's interests will not be affected because it costs too much and takes too much time, and it is also easy to be controlled. For this, there are views that cooperation between countries is originally about big profits, rather than some small losses. With more cross-border railways, the grand strategy of China's trans Asian railway network can be completed as soon as possible, thus breaking the sea route siege. Editor/Zhao E