Could China’s New Transport Corridor Be Used For Defense Purposes?

  • It will be the first part of an international corridor from China to Europe without transit through Kazakhstan and Russia.
  • The first train is carrying 230 tons of electrical appliances worth $2.6 million to Uzbekistan.
  • It is the first multi-modal international route that includes cargo transshipment from train to truck and back to train.

China has opened a new transport corridor to Uzbekistan bypassing Kazakhstan. It will be the first part of an international corridor from China to Europe without transit through Kazakhstan and Russia. Currently, the future of the relations between China and Russia are unclear. There have been calls by a Russian oligarch to investigate China not only for the coronavirus, but also for their environment violations.

The first part of the corridor has already been implemented: from China to Kyrgyzstan, and from there to Uzbekistan. Still remaining is the implementation of the second part– through Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea to Istanbul and Europe. The length of the transport corridor is 295 kilometers shorter than alternative routes through the border points of Khorgos and Dostyk in Kazakhstan, which allows reducing the delivery time of goods, as well as making the new route attractive and competitive for international trade participants.

The first container train left on June 5 from the logistics center in Lanzhou (Gansu province) for Tashkent. The train will travel through Kashgar in Xinjiang. It will continue on through the port of Irkeshtam in Kyrgyzstan, Osh, Osh – Tashkent.  The area between the Kashgar, Irkeshtam and Osh will utilize trucks and then the rest of the route will be taken by train.

The map of Uzbekistan.

The first train is carrying 230 tons of electrical appliances worth $2.6 million to Uzbekistan. On the return trip from Tashkent, the train will bring 525 tons of Uzbek cotton fabric worth about one million dollars to Lanzhou.

This is a brand new corridor connecting China with Central and Western Asia. It is the first multi-modal international route that includes cargo transshipment from train to truck and back to train. The next step will be to open a new route to Europe.

According to the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan, an Uzbek delegation visited China earlier this year. During the meetings, they agreed to jointly launch a block train along the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan transport corridor.

This is China’s alternative way; the One Belt One Road project that included Russia. Overall the the One Belt One Road includes six regions according to the Investopedia.

The One Belt One Road regions are:

1) The New Eurasian Land Bridge which connects Western China to Western Russia.

2) The China-Mongolia-Russia Corridor which connects North China to Eastern Russia via Mongolia.

3) The China-Central Asia-West Asia Corridor which connects Western China to Turkey via Central and West Asia

4) The China-Indochina Peninsula Corridor which connects Southern China to Singapore via Indo-China.

5) The China-Pakistan Corridor which connects South Western China through Pakistan to Arabia sea routes.

6) The Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Corridor which connects Southern China to India via Bangladesh and Myanmar

Russia does not think this new travel corridor will last, that there is no longevity to it. At this time China is trying to find alternate routes and focusing on different areas. It is highly likely China will no longer have the same trade and diplomatic relationships as it previously had with other nations.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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