The New York Times: China’s Ambitious New “Port” in Landlocked Kazakhstan

The China Ocean Shipping Company, the country’s biggest, state-owned shipping company, invested billions in the Khorgos Gateway, located in the arid terrain of Kazakhstan. “The gamble is not only reshuffling global transport routes, but also shaking up Kazakh and global politics as China inserts itself deeper into a region that Russia considers squarely within its area of influence,” writes Andrew Higgins for the New York Times about the link in China's Belt Road Initiative. “Not least, it is testing the economic logic of China’s ability to carry out its grandest of ambitions.” The Chinese government, hoping to exert economic and political power in Central Asia to counter the region’s historical ties to Russia, aims to deliver exports to European markets. Though overland transportation between Asia and Europe costs more than oversea shipping by tenfold, the alternative reduces delivery time by half. The Chinese government subsidizes operations in Khorgos, often forgoing profit margins to maintain a political foothold in the area. The Kazakh government treads a difficult balance as well in backing the Belt Road Initiative: On one hand, officials welcome Chinese investment to detract Russian influence; on the other hand, they must also appease nationalist citizens who express anti-China sentiments. – YaleGlobal

The New York Times: China’s Ambitious New “Port” in Landlocked Kazakhstan

With its Belt and Road Initiative, China looks to expand economic and political power in Kazakhstan over the long term, starting with investing in overland transportation facilities
Andrew Higgins
Monday, January 15, 2018

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Andrew Higgins is a Moscow correspondent for The New York Times.

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