The Chinese-Iran Rail Corridor Must Include Uzbekistan To Be Successful

According to Xinhua, China’s Inner Mongolia region will be connected to the Islamic Republic by utilizing preexisting rail routes through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, a concept that was proven before with test runs but will now officially enter into service. It would be a stretch to describe this as a “game-changing” connectivity corridor when it’s only going to be used for sunflower seed exports for the time being, but it’s nevertheless a constructive development for deepening Chinese-Iranian economic relations following the US’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal last week. More products can be traded between the two Great Powers along this route in the future in providing a “pressure valve” to forthcoming American efforts to “contain” Iran, but more will have to be done in this direction if that’s to sustainably remain the case.

The full potential of this Chinese-Iranian rail route isn’t being exploited because it depends on older infrastructure that avoids some of Central Asia’s most populous and economically productive cities by hugging the peripheral borders of its Kazkh and Turkmen transit states. Instead, what’s needed is for China to make progress on its reported plans from 2015 for pioneering a Central Asian high-speed rail route to Iran that passes through the centrally positioned and most populous regional country of Uzbekistan, which while trailing in comparison to its much geographically larger northern neighbor’s energy-driven economic success, has the most attractive real-sector economic value by virtue of its younger and numerically greater population. No Chinese-Iranian rail corridor can therefore be strategically complete without including Uzbekistan, which is left out of the recently announced rail route.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday May 18, 2018:

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

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4 Comments
  1. Patrick B. Ludwig

    You are completely right in priciple. BUT you forget the US Military base in Uzbekistan.
    US presence should first be ousted and this means solving the Afghanistan problem.

  2. where’s the map?

  3. :

    This is COMPLETE RUBBISH.

    Apart from Uzbekistan being a close ally of the West and therefore being able to close down ANY link crossing its territory – not to mention giving Western Jackboot War-criminal Jackboot murderering military a quick and easy access into Iran to open a second front, it is abolutely batshit crazy to have such a link passing through a country whose Governmant boils people alive as a form of mediaeval punishment.

    This latter we know from the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who lost that position because he bravely refused to shut up about such outrages. FFS, if you need high speed tracks – China is expert at making these – so build NEW track over a more stable route.

    Such a rail link passing through Uzbekistan is a truly fucked up batshit crazy idea.

    craigmurray.org.uk/

    .

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