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The new freight channel between Europe and China (Xinjiang) - Geoeconomics

  • Construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway is expected to begin in October.


  • China will hold 51% of the joint venture company's shares, while Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will each hold a 24.5% stake.


  • The new railway is a cross-border railway project connecting Kashgar in Xinjiang, China, with Andijan, Uzbekistan, for a total length of about 590 kilometers through the three countries of China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.


  • The railway will not only greatly shorten the time and increase the efficiency of freight transport from Asia to Europe, but also increase the reliability and resilience to transport risks, especially in case of geopolitical problems.The railways, in fact, cotitute an alternative artery to the one currently running through Russian territory.



Recently, the Kyrgyz parliament formally approved through the third reading procedure the cooperation agreement on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project jointly promoted by the governments of China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.


This important step marks the official entry into the concrete construction phase of this cross-border cooperation project.


Credit Seetao

According to Azamat Sakiev, CEO of Kyrgyz state-owned enterprise Temir Zholu, China has pledged a $2.35 billion loan to support the construction of the Sino-Kyrgyz-Uzbek railway project.


The total estimated cost of the entire project is $4.7 billion.

A joint project company consisting of representatives from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and China will cover half of the financing.


Construction of the railway is scheduled to begin in October 2024, and the entire construction process is expected to take about six years. In order to ensure the smooth progress of the work on schedule, the parties signed a detailed schedule and clarified the terms of operation of the joint venture.


In addition, an agreement was signed between Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and China, which forms the basis for the establishment of the Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan Cooperation Council.


The agreement, which was submitted to the Kyrgyz Parliament's Jogorku Kenesh for approval, stipulates that China will hold 51 percent of the shares in the joint venture company and that China will own the project.


China will hold 51% of the joint venture company's shares, while Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will each hold a 24.5% stake.

The China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan Railway is a cross-border railway project connecting Kashgar in Xinjiang, China, with Andijan, Uzbekistan, for a total length of about 590 kilometers through the three countries of China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.


The Kyrgyz section of the railway is located in the southeastern part of the country, passing through Naryn and Jalal-Abad oblasts. The railway line starts from the Turugart Mountains in China, passes through the Arpa region, crosses the Murdoch Mountains, and crosses the Alabka River before establishing Makhmal as a change station.

The line then continues westward through the Ferghana Mountains, using the existing rail corridor north of Jalalabad, finally introducing the Jalalabad station and

south to add the Jalalabad freight station.


Gauge problems were considered in the Kyrgyz section of the new 293.53-km-long main line.


Among them, the section from Turgat (Kyrgyzstan) to Makhmal adopts the same standard gauge as China, with a total length of about 160.52 kilometers.


The Makhmal to Jalalabad section has the same gauge as Uzbekistan.


The Makhmal-Jalalabad section, on the other hand, connects to Uzbekistan and is about 133.83 kilometers long, with a broad gauge.


The goal is to provide seamless rail connections with China and Uzbekistan and increase carrying capacity.


In terms of station configuration, the section within Kyrgyzstan has 17 stations to meet the transportation needs of different regions.


At the same time, to meet the requirements of complex terrain, a large number of bridges and tunnels have been installed in this section of the railway.


The total length of bridges is 17.41 kilometers, including 44 bridges; the total length of tunnels is 111.0 kilometers, with 31 tunnels.


The railway is not only a cross-border railway project connecting Kashgar, Xinjiang, China, and Andijan, Uzbekistan, but also a key component of the southern corridor of the China-European Union (CEU) line.


In the context of an increasingly tightening global economy, existing Euro-Asian freight routes have failed to meet the growing demand of world trade, especially in the face of geopolitical challenges. The railways, in fact, cotitute an alternative artery to the one currently running through Russian territory.


For China, therefore, a more stable and efficient transportation corridor is particularly important in the face of challenges posed by geopolitical fluctuations.






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